Pro-gun legislation in the Senate budget

The HillFor instance, an amendment from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) would block “any legislation that would place further restrictions on the right of law-abiding Americans to own a firearm,” according to the senator’s office.

The amendment would block gun control measures seeking to ban semi-automatic weapons and magazines, and create a national gun registry, unless they have support from two-thirds of senators.

Maybe the details are vague, but this one seems silly. Is it a change to the Senate rules? If so, they can change the rules back with 51 votes, as Reid has already demonstrated. Is it meant to be a budget rider to restrict the administration? Then why does it have to come back to the Senate for a 2/3rds vote? Is it supposed to require Senate authorization by individual vote to spend money on gun control projects that aren't already authorized by legislation? This is already the case. And if it's already authorized by legislation, it's not new... this proposal seems like a confused mess to me. Maybe I need more details.

The HillMeanwhile, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) are offering an amendment that would stop the Fish and Wildlife Service from cracking down on antique guns containing ivory.

Useful for people whose guns contain ivory, which is maybe a few thousand people with very expensive firearms. Not a bad idea, given that the administration is in fact cracking down on ivory in all sorts of stuff, but not exactly a sweeping rejection of gun control. I suspect Lamar Alexander has a rich donor with an antique ivory gun collection.

The HillInhofe is also offering other pro-gun amendments prohibiting the Obama administration from establishing a national firearms registry and barring the government from pressuring banks to close gun shops' bank accounts.

This is more like it, except the part about barring a national firearms registry should already be part of federal law. Did someone slip a change through when we weren't looking?

The latter part refers to Operation Choke Point, and would actually be very helpful. But important questions to ask: Does it have a penalty clause? Can private individuals or corporations sue the government for damages resulting from Operation Choke Point, especially punitive damages?

Mon Mar 30 12:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Carly Fiorina considering presidential run

Legal InsurrectionFormer Hewlett Packard CEO told Chris Wallace yesterday there’s more than a ninety-percent chance she’ll run for president. She would announce late April – early May in the event she decides to jump into the 2016 Republican horse race, making her the only woman currently considering such a role.

Working for Senator McCain during his 2008 presidential bid, fundraising for the RNC, and running for Senate in 2010, Fiorina isn’t completely green to the political world.

Has she ever successfully held elective office before? No? And she worked for McCain in the campaign he lost to a baby Senator with a habit of voting "present" and launched his campaign from the house of an admitted (but not convicted) domestic terrorist?

Not interested. Not even as VP.

But she's welcome to split the RINO vote, I suppose.

Mon Mar 30 11:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Iran military endorses nuclear EMP attack on United States

Washington Examiner“American officials have confirmed that Iranian military brass have endorsed a nuclear electromagnetic pulse explosion that would attack the country’s power system. American defense experts made the discovery while translating a secret Iranian military handbook, raising new concerns about Tehran’s recent nuclear talks with the administration.”

Yes, and their nuclear program is only for peaceful applications.

Irons in the Fire suspects that Obama would consider that a great opportunity to surrender:
Irons in the FireAll the people who'd die? Just more fodder to defend his surrender: "We cannot expend effort in fighting Iran over this when we have so many bodies to bury!"

I can't really argue with that; I suspect that's exactly how Obama would react. ANd he wouldn't be wrong about all of it. We would have a lot of bodies to bury and infrastructure to rebuild, so sending soldiers over to fight Iran would be a pointless waste of time when we could just turn them into a sheet of radioactive glass from here by pushing a few buttons and then get on with he rebuilding process.

Mon Mar 30 10:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Legislation introduced to repeal the Patriot Act

The HillA pair of House lawmakers wants to completely repeal the Patriot Act and other legal provisions to dramatically rein in American spying. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) on Tuesday unveiled their Surveillance State Repeal Act, which would overhaul American spying powers unlike any other effort to reform the National Security Agency.

It's unlikely to pass, but if you urge your Representative to support it, they will know where you stand and likely take that into account when considering similar legislation with a better chance.

Mon Mar 30 09:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Vermont activist admits to being a Bloomberg stooge

Well, ok, not Bloomberg specifically. But when presented with a proposed change to a background check law during a public hearing, the lobbyist for Gun Sense Vermont said "We need to get national expertise on this before we can approve it."

National expertise from a supposedly local "grassroots" group? Smells like astroturf to me. As, in fact, most efforts to push gun control are.

Sun Mar 29 12:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reading the Sandy Hook report

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission report

The Storm Fizzles: Part 1

The Storm Fizzles: Part 2

The Storm Fizzles: Part 3

It's instructive to read the recommendations contained in reports like this and notice how they would have little actual impact on anything, besides their obvious goal of spreading leftist values by government force. And, amazingly, they blame Lanza's murderous actions on the "stigma" of mental illness.

The conclusion they fail to reach is a simple one. People who have a history of violence will often have violence in their present and future. This is not always the case; there's always a first act of violence, and some people do manage to reform. However, if you're looking for the most effective predictor of criminal behavior, looking at that individual's past history of criminal behavior is your best bet.

Trying to keep ordinary, non-violent citizens from defending themselves against violent attack has absolutely nothing to do preventing those violent attacks in the first place, because you are dealing with people who have significant differences in behavior and relatively little overlap.

Sun Mar 29 11:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Iranian journalist covering negotiations defects, alleges US on wrong side

Weekly Standard“The U.S. negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal," Motaghi told a TV station after just defecting from the Iranian delegation while abroad for the nuclear talks. The P 5 + 1 is made up of United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, plus Germany.

So says an Iranian defector, a journalist covering the negotiations. And let us not forget that Valerie Jarret, a close confidante of Obama, is Iranian-born.

Sun Mar 29 10:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

California to impose slave labor requirements on law school graduates

TaxPprofLast week California followed New York in proposing a requirement of 50 hours of pro bono work for prospective lawyers. Unlike New York’s existing rule, which requires lawyers to serve their time before admittance to the bar, the California proposal permits them to meet the requirement shortly afterwards as well. California’s proposal also requires 15 “units” of “experiential learning,” within such activities as clinics or externships, that can be satisfied either during law school or separately in a private externship. This proposal is an unfortunate one–both protectionist and ideologically one-sided.

I'm not sure "unfortunate" is the description I would choose. I'm sure the consequences of this policy, both economic and ideological, are entirely intended.

Sun Mar 29 09:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More arrests in Ferguson than people

Rand Paul“Several cities in Missouri, over a third of their budget is gotten by fines,” Paul said. “In Ferguson, there’s 21,000 people. Last year, there were 31,000 arrests."

Those are absurd numbers.

Sat Mar 28 12:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Secret Service policy erases tapes after 72 hours?

Washington ExaminerThe Utah Republican was even more stunned about the explanation he received from Clancy on why the tapes were so limited. Clancy, in a closed-door session Tuesday, told Chaffetz and other members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it's normal policy for the agency to erase surveillance tapes of the White House grounds after 72 hours.

If the tapes are erased so soon, what's the point of having tapes?

Sat Mar 28 11:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Admission: FCC's internet rule claims authority to set rates for ISPs

The HillFederal regulators on Wednesday acknowledged that new net neutrality regulations could allow the government to interfere with how much companies charge for Internet service. The admission from Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will come as a vindication to critics of the new Internet rules, who have long warned that the agency’s powers will give it unprecedented control over the Web.

And the government setting rates worked out so well with AT&T.

The Hill“We don’t have such a case before us right now,” added Jessica Rosenworcel, a fellow Democratic commissioner. “But I think it’s a matter of due process that any provider... has the opportunity to come to the commission and seek resolution."

In the smoke-filled back rooms of Washington, "come to the commission and seek resolution" means "an excellent opportunity for graft, corruption, and boodle."

Sat Mar 28 10:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Google wants to split high-tech immigration from other changes

The HillGoogle's executive chairman Eric Schmidt is calling on Congress to separate high-skilled immigration reform from other comprehensive changes.

"All I'm asking is separate out this specific thing which will materially improve economic growth, it is good for many, many industries not just our own, it's good for politicians, more revenue more jobs," he said during a conversation Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute.

The problem with Schmidt's proposal is that it is blatantly self-serving. It is good for him and his company -- good because it allows him to import lower-paid workers who are tied to his company rather than compete with other companies to hire Americans at pay rates commensurate with their skill and engineering knowledge. And it's good for politicians because Schmidt will donate a fraction of the money he saves by replacing American engineers with foreign indentured servants who will be kicked out of the country if they quit their jobs to take one that pays better.

And why is he so desperate?

Well, the fact that the cozy no-recruiting agreement Google had in place for Silicon Valley just cost him and Apple $415 million might have something to do with it.

Sat Mar 28 09:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

So here's a useful question to ask...

Ace of SpadesStarting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal's account.

The emails, which were posted on the internet in 2013, also show that Blumenthal and another close Clinton associate discussed contracting with a retired Army special operations commander to put operatives on the ground near the Libya-Tunisia border while Libya's civil war raged in 2011.

Blumenthal's emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations....

Will these emails show up in the emails Hillary provided to the State Department?

If not, she withheld them, and that's criminal, right?

At that point -- if they don't turn up in what Hillary provided -- isn't it verifiable proof that she destroyed, or at least did not turn over, some related emails?

Fri Mar 27 22:33:55 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton's letter admitting to wiping her emails

Since Hillary was not exactly helpful in providing a text format for her letter admitting to wiping her emails, I ran the letter through OCR and provide it for you here, below the fold, as text. I haven't tried to reformat it. Be aware there is an attachment that provides the original request sent to her as well.

The formatting is neither my fault nor Hillary's fault. It's due to the OCR conversion. I may try to clean it up at some point.

For my analysis, see my original post.

(Read More...)

Fri Mar 27 20:07:42 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hillary Clinton wiped email server

The HillThe head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has erased all information from the personal email server she used while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.

“We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said in a statement Friday.

He said while it’s “not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.”

My God. This is absolutely brazen. And one hell of a friday evening document dump.

Hillary's letter to the committee via her attorney. If you read it closely, you can see that the dark side of the data retention policy strikes again. But all hope is not lost.

(Read More...)

Fri Mar 27 19:36:58 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kansas passes Constitutional Carry; Governor's signature still needed, so send encouragement

Shall Not Be QuestionedIf you live in, near, or have some relationship to Kansas, be sure to contact Governor Brownback to ensure we get a signature here. Remember, Bloomberg tried pretty hard to stop Constitutional Carry in Kansas, and it would be an awful shame to get this far and fail because the Governor didn’t hear from enough of us. If a signature is forthcoming, Kansas will join Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Arkansas to become the sixth state to pass Constitutional Carry.

Make sure the governor knows which way the wind is blowing. Politely, please.

Fri Mar 27 15:01:59 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Harry Reid retires; endorses Schumer to replace him as Senate Minority Leader

Washington ExaminerHarry Reid endorsed Chuck Schumer to succeed him as Senate minority leader after he retires in 2016.[Link added]

The Democrats are going full gun control.

Never go full gun control.

Fri Mar 27 14:59:17 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Legislation to end online anonymity advancing in multiple states

TechdirtA few weeks ago, we wrote about Florida's proposed law, which would require any website that hosts audio or video to reveal their name and address. This could have disastrous consequences for whistleblowers or anonymous critics. In the US, the Supreme Court has long recognized the importance of protecting anonymity as a part of the First Amendment, but this bill does away with that completely, just because the movie and music industries think it's necessary to stop piracy (even though it won't do that). Unfortunately, it appears that despite widespread criticism, the Florida bill is expected to move forward this week. If you happen to live in Florida, the EFF has set up a tool to help you alert your elected representatives to why such a bill is a terrible and unconstitutional idea.

You can try to stop the Florida version. It's too late in Tennessee. There's another effort in California.

These idiots need to stop trying to destroy the internet.

Fri Mar 27 14:48:35 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rubio seeks gun rights votes by repealing DC gun laws

Washington PostTwo high-profile Republicans in Congress, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), have introduced legislation that would undo the District’s gun laws, which are among the strictest in the nation.

I have mixed feelings about this one. Yes, DC should have reasonable gun laws. That should go without saying. This legislation would undoubtedly improve them. However, there are benefits to dragging DC kicking and screaming into gun rights by a succession of court orders, too; the city government is such an easy target that it's almost better to just get the courts to keep striking down laws and making favorable precedents until we get to something acceptable. (and THEN Congress can improve on the results...)

Also, Rubio's motives on this one are pretty transparent. He wants to shore up his gun rights support before announcing a run for president, since Cruz just announced and Cruz is in position to sweep the field from a gun rights perspective. While making the effort is nice, Rubio's legislation isn't going to do much to help him compete with Cruz on that front, especially when an Obama veto is basically inevitable.

Fri Mar 27 14:40:23 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Scott Walker wobbling on amnesty?

Wall Street Journal via Legal InsurrectionWisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told a private dinner of New Hampshire Republicans this month that he backed the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and to eventually become eligible for citizenship, a position at odds with his previous public statements on the matter.

Mr. Walker’s remarks, which were confirmed by three people present, vary from the call he has made for “no amnesty”—a phrase widely employed by people who believe immigrants who broke the law by entering the country without permission shouldn’t be awarded legal status or citizenship.

…“He said no to citizenship now, but later they could get it,” said Bill Greiner, an owner of the Copper Door. Ken Merrifield, mayor of Franklin, N.H., who also attended, said Mr. Walker proposed that illegal immigrants should “get to the back of the line for citizenship” but not be deported.

Actually, it's worse than "wobbling"; it's an accusation, verified by three of the people present and denied by Walker, that he's saying one thing in his public speeches and another thing to the private audience at expensive fund raising events. It is exactly the kind of pathetic, cowardly two-faced betrayal that politicians are famous for.

If Scott Walker supports amnesty, let him say so. If he thinks he needs to express something more complicated than a yes or a no, let him do that (but understand that a lot of people are going to take anything that isn't a "no" to mean "yes"). However, whatever your position on immigration -- and, frankly, anything else, but immigration is the hot-button issue for politicians telling the people one thing and voting for another right now -- do not lie to us.

You get no trust, no second chances, no oh-I-changed-my-mind on this issue, Scott. You tell us what you really think and then, if elected, you act on that. There is no trust left. None.

Fri Mar 27 12:45:28 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

GOP budget demonstrates how inept the GOP leadership is

The HillRepublicans began to unify around a House GOP budget proposal released Tuesday that would cut spending by $5.5 trillion over the next decade and balance in nine years.

When I'm done throwing up, I'll laugh. Balancing the budget in 9 years is as good as never balancing the budget at all, which is exactly what this budget will do. The budget must be balanced each and every year. Spending today with the promise of spending cuts tomorrow never works.

Not that the Democrats are going to cooperate, but with majorities in both the House and the Senate and the Democrats having helpfully set a precedent for disregarding the filibuster rule already, a balanced budget for the next two years should be an easy win for the GOP. Except that the GOP is led by idiots, cowards, and squishes.

Fri Mar 27 12:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FCC Inspector General investigating internet rules process

The HillThe inspector general for the Federal Communications Commission has opened an investigation into the agency’s process for writing new rules for the Internet, according to the House Oversight Committee.

“It’s my understanding that it’s not an audit, not an inspection, but its an actual investigation,” committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said at the conclusion of a hearing with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

The Inspector General system appears to be the only thing in Washington capable of actually investigating wrongdoing. The IRS won't investigate itself and neither will the DOJ.

Fri Mar 27 11:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump preparing to run for President

Gateway PunditAmerican businessman, investor and TV personality announced he will not renew his contract for his popular show “Apprentice.” Trump will also launch a presidential exploratory committee.

Come on. This is not a serious candidate. After watching his performance pretending to run for president in earlier elections, I concluded that his goal was to steal media attention and donations from the serious candidates while distorting the positions of the party in a way that would harm the party as a whole in the general election.

We can't keep him from running, but we don't have to take him seriously, and we should not.

Fri Mar 27 10:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Germanwings mass-murder pilot converted to Islam?

Speisa (translated from German) via Gateway PunditAll evidence indicates that the copilot of Airbus machine in his six-months break during his training as a pilot in Germanwings, converted to Islam and subsequently either by the order of "radical", ie. devout Muslims , or received the order from the book of terror, the Quran, on his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder. As a radical mosque in Bremen is in the center of the investigation, in which the convert was staying often, it can be assumed that he - as Mohammed Atta, in the attack against New York - received his instructions directly from the immediate vicinity of the mosque.

FOX News InsiderGRN’s Alan Hall reported on tonight’s “On The Record” that police searched Lubitz’s apartment and found something of “significance,” but they would not say what it is. Authorities say it is not a suicide note.

I predicted this. As yet the report is unconfirmed, and it is likely the governments involved will try to keep this element under wraps as long as possible. But the truth is the truth.

UPDATE: The Weekly Standard suggests there's no evidence of an Islamic conversion, and the cited "news" site is opinion-only. That's hard to judge when you're relying on translations. I remain concerned by the possibility of an Islamic link, but we don't appear to have any hard evidence for it.

Crashing an airplane with 150 people on board into a mountain is evidence he was a murderous psychopath, and that's bad enough.

Fri Mar 27 09:23:21 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fracking Earthquakes

Reuters via Irons in the FireThe magnitude 5.5 April 9, 1952, earthquake centered near El Reno affected most of Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas. Damage from the 10:30 a.m. CST earthquake was not extensive, but many people in the epicentral area were alarmed, some to near panic. Portions of chimneys fell in El Reno and Ponca City (intensity VII). Bricks loosened from a building wall and tile facing of commercial buildings bulged at Oklahoma City. Also, plate glass windows were shattered in the business district of El Reno. The total damage amounted to several thousand dollars. Aftershocks were felt on April 11, 15, and 16, July 16, and August 14; an earthquake that was felt (IV) at Holdenville and Wewoka on October 7 apparently was unrelated to the April 9th event. Homes and buildings shook and some persons were awakened (V) at El Reno from the April 16th shock, which occurred 5 minutes after midnight. Felt reports were also received from Kingfisher, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Union City.

In the old days, people blamed such things on the anger of the gods, and I can see why. The earth shakes for hundreds of miles around with no visible cause. You can't deny that it happened, everyone felt it. Everyone was doing something, even if just sleeping, when it hit; each one of them has a possible explanation for why their behavior angered the gods. How could they possibly figure out what was really going on? And why would they do that, when the effort spent on such explanations would inevitably prove useless?

It's much easier to blame the earthquake on the local earth god. Or thunder god. Or just God, a remarkable improvement in efficiency that eliminated the cognitive effort of trying to appease a different god with different rites for every possible phenomenon and replaced it with a single god to appease for everything by being nice rather than mean. In terms of freeing up cognitive resources for useful tasks, monotheism was brilliant.

Of course, that God eventually fell out of fashion because he demanded people behave in useful, productive, and unnatural ways that took effort and discouraged hedonism. Some people decided to replace God with the State, and others decided to replace God with Gaia. The latter are now busy blaming the earthquakes on fracking and devising rituals and taboos to appease their new earth god.

History may not be repeating itself exactly, but it's certainly rapping.

Fri Mar 27 09:19:08 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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