TriggerFinger


Constitutional Carry legislation in Ohio

The Daily AdvocateIntroduced by Representative Ron Hood, House Bill 147 would do away with Ohio’s concealed carry licensing requirements.

Termed by many as “Constitutional Carry,” provisions of the bill would allow any law-abiding citizen the ability to carry a firearm concealed, bypassing the necessity of attending a class, undergoing a background check and paying licensing fees.

If Ohio gets Constitutional Carry before Texas, I'm going to have to think of something suitably drastic, like eating my cowboy hat.

Fri Apr 24 09:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

McConnell fast-tracks Patriot Act reauthorization

The HillSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced legislation Tuesday night to extend controversial sections of the Patriot Act.

McConnell didn't offer any comments on the legislation but fast-tracked it, so it could be placed on the Senate's calendar without having to go through the committee process.

Provisions of the Patriot Act are currently set to expire June 1. Among them is Section 215, which the National Security Agency has used to authorize the collection of bulk records from millions of U.S. citizens’ phone calls.

That part about fast-tracking the legislation means it could come up for a vote at any time. I'm going to write my Senators about this right away, and I suggest you do the same. Don't wait for it to come up for a vote. You can always write them again.

Fri Apr 24 02:55:57 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The White House is becoming a White Castle

The HillThe White House is expected to add half-inch steel spikes to its perimeter fence as a protective measure against potential jumpers, NBC Washington reports.

Remember when the White House was the People's House, and the President was only a temporary resident? Remember when we made fun of Europe for having their rulers live in castles so villagers with pitchforks could not depose them?

Personally, I hope we get the iconic YouTube video of a protester impaling himself on the new spikes before Obama leaves office, so the blame can be properly placed.

Thu Apr 23 12:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House passes IRS reform legislation

Wall Street Journal via TaxProfThe bills passed on Wednesday were mostly narrow in focus. One would streamline the application process for nonprofit social-welfare groups seeking to become tax-exempt, effectively eliminating the IRS’s ability to hold up their applications indefinitely.

Another would make it a firing offense for an IRS official to target taxpayers for their political beliefs. Still another would clarify that gift taxes don’t apply to donations to social-welfare groups organized under section 501(c)(4).

Weak, pathetic reforms that will probably be blocked in the Senate so Obama won't have to veto them. But I bet they will make great campaign ads.

Actual reforms and comments below the fold.

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Thu Apr 23 11:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Should we be teaching kids to share?

I think not. This is yet another application of the virtue of selfishness. Private property rights are real and important, and children and not automatically entitled to use or borrow or simply take everything they see. How would we treat an adult who behaved that way and threw a temper tantrum any time they were refused? (See: Occupy Wall Street).

Children need to learn that some things are theirs, personally; some things are owned by someone else but are voluntarily shared; and some things are owned by others and they are not allowed to use them.

Thu Apr 23 10:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hillary and top aides to testify to Benghazi committee

BreitbartHouse Benghazi Select Committee Chairman Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) reported that Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and Sidney Blumenthal would be on his witness list to testify before the committee

Of course, testifying is only part of the issue. The next step is to hold people accountable, but that never seems to happen.

Thu Apr 23 09:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lerner email warns employees that their email could be seen by Congress

CNS News“We are all a bit concerned about the mention of specific Congress people, practitioners and political parties. Our filed folks are not as sensitive as we are to the fact that anything we write can be public--or at least be seen by Congress,” Lerner wrote in an email to Holly Paz, former director of the IRS Office of Rulings and Agreements, on Feb. 16, 2012.

“We talked with Nan and she thought it would be great if R & A could put together some training points to help them understand the potential pitfalls, as well as how to think about referrals,” Lerner continued.

Don't forget that Lerner was interested in conducting affairs outside of Congression oversight with IRS instant messaging, too.

Wed Apr 22 12:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DOJ mental defective list includes lots of veterans

Washington Times via SaysUncleThe chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to explain why a Department of Justice gun ban list has a “mental defective” category consisting almost entirely of names belonging to military veterans and their dependents.

I've reported on the letters being sent out about this previously. It's basically the VA opportunistically adding people to a list of potentially violent individuals to ban them from gun possession when many of the people involved aren't dangerous or incompetent -- just didn't bother to read the back of the letter where it talked about adding them to this list unless they protested.

I suspect the idea is to get as many functional veterans onto this list as possible to prevent them becoming part of the civilian gun culture, but doing it in such a way that no one notices in time to stop it.

Wed Apr 22 11:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hillary's first campaign stop is filled with astroturf

Daily MailHillary Clinton's astroturf candidacy is in full swing in Iowa. Her Tuesday morning visit to a coffee shop in LeClaire, Iowa was staged from beginning to end, according to Austin Bird, one of the men pictured sitting at the table with Mrs. Clinton. Bird told Daily Mail Online that campaign staffer Troy Price called and asked him and two other young people to meet him Tuesday morning at a restaurant in Davenport, a nearby city. Price then drove them to the coffee house to meet Clinton after vetting them for about a half-hour.

I'm actually a little curious here. Is this mostly a Hillary thing, or do other campaigns do this on a regular basis and it just doesn't get reported? And second... was Hillary in on the fake, or were the astroIowans brought in with prepared issues to talk to Hillary about?

That would be an interesting way to manage a candidate, wouldn't it?

Wed Apr 22 10:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rubio can't imagine undoing an Obama executive order on amnesty

Hot Air via Daily PunditRand Paul’s already introduced a bill in the Senate to repeal Obama’s order, which presumably means President Paul would cancel it. Ted Cruz has said he’ll undo all of Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders if elected, so he’s in on the repeal game too. But then, this call is easy for Paul and Cruz given that their chances depend on consolidating the conservative vote.

Candidates who are more towards the middle, like Bush, Walker, and especially Rubio, who’s under pressure to show he’ll hold special appeal to Latino voters in the general election, have to worry more about “electability.” What do they say when asked if they’ll cancel O’s order? Will Rubio promise to do so, having already admitted to York that it’s politically impossible?

Bill Quick asks whether a Ted Cruz ticket would solve that problem. I say yes; in fact that's pretty much what I've been hoping for. It could well be an act of political genius on the immigration issue. What you do is simple: you run Cruz on the top of the ticket. He promises to undo what Obama has done, revoke the executive orders on immigration, and secure the borders. Then he actually does it, funding and all. He serves his two terms, and with Cruz having prepared the way, Paul can run on enacting some form of immigration reform to address people who have already crossed the border in a much better environment for it. This reform could not be amnesty, but after 8 years of Cruz and a secure border, there might be room for discussion.

If they are careful, they can both moderate their positions a little towards each other and gain the support of both constituencies.

Wed Apr 22 09:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The politics of division

Commentary MagazineThe most telling comment about the story of a Stanford University student who was quizzed about her Jewish faith when she tried to run for office came from her friend and campaign manager. Molly Horwitz, a Stanford junior, was running for the Student Senate and her campaign manager and friend Miriam Pollock told her what she had to do. According to the New York Times, Pollack advised Horwitz to “scrub” her personal Facebook page and remove anything that related to Israel or her support for the Jewish state. But that didn’t stop the Students of Color Coalition from demanding to know whether Horwitz’s “Jewish identity” impacted her stand on divestment—the economic war being waged against Israel. The episode in which some black and Latino students now think it is acceptable to treat Judaism as a disqualifying characteristic is a horrifying example of the way anti-Semitism—thinly disguised as anti-Zionism—has established a secure foothold on American college campuses.

The thing that concerns me here is not so much that this sentiment exists -- it always exists -- but that people are openly expressing it without shame; and that attempts to block people from serving in student government based solely on their religion are predictable.

Tue Apr 21 12:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Virginia electronic voting system decertified

Ars TechnicaVirginia election officials have decertified an electronic voting system after determining that it was possible for even unskilled people to surreptitiously hack into it and tamper with vote counts.

Sure, our elections are secure. It's not like there are any consequences if they are hacked to report that a red-diaper communist wins every election he enters, right?

Seriously. I know security is hard, but this is embarrassing.

Tue Apr 21 11:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Racism in the Media

So, it is generally accepted that you don't call full grown male politicians a "boy"? It seems to be, right? Especially if the politician is a minority, then the term "boy" is racist. There are many examples of this principle.

So why isn't it racist for Mike Brzezinski to call Marco Rubio a little boy?

I ask because, you know, it seems pretty racist to me, and we've sort of already set the standard here.

Tue Apr 21 10:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reporting and Bias

Coloumbia Journalism Review tells us what really happened in the fake UVA campus rape story; Sheryl Attkisson tells us why it happened. It is exactly the same principle that the scientific method is designed to prevent: the reporter, and quite likely her magazine, went into the situation with a story they wanted to tell, and then looked for evidence that would confirm their story instead of falsifying it. Finding examples of this cognitive fallacy in other major stories is left as an exercise for the reader.

Tue Apr 21 09:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

ISIS operating camp a few miles from Texas border

Judicial WatchISIS is operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, according to Judicial Watch sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector.

They found plans of Fort Bliss and Muslim prayer rugs at the site.

Mon Apr 20 12:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senator Hatch writes letter to IRS on targeting, threatens further investigations

Senator Hatch's Letter to IRSI also warned that attempts to limit political speech through the tax code would not be tolerated, and would only serve to “further entangle your agency in political debate and controversy.” Two years ago, your agency put forth proposed regulations that would upend half-century-old rules regarding get out the vote drives, voter registration, and other activities by tax exempt organizations. This rule was withdrawn after intense opposition across the political spectrum. You recently announced that the IRS would seek to broaden the rule, restricting the speech and activities of an even wider range of tax exempt organizations. You are starting down a very dangerous road...

You have explained that this attempt to restrict the rights of groups to organize and speak out was in response to the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups and 2013 recommendations by the Inspector General. You have also explained that new rules were necessary to prevent further targeting. Both claims are false.

Congressional investigations have established that the Treasury Department began work on the proposal in 2011, long before the Inspector General’s recommendations and during the height of the political targeting, rather than in response to it. Furthermore, interviews with front-line IRS employees established that those workers were processing applications from conservative groups in a timely fashion and without difficulty, until political officials in Washington, DC intervened. The problem was not the rules governing tax exempt entities – the problem was officials at IRS and Treasury Department headquarters further involving your agency into the political speech of Americans across the country. Rather than preventing further targeting, the new proposal – should you proceed with it – will be the systemization of targeting through law.

On the one hand, he's calling out the IRS on their motivations and deceptions. On the other hand, it's too little, too late, and his tongue-lashing has all the impact of a wet noodle. On the gripping hand, he calls for the IRS to actually implement a document retention system in anticipation of the White House moving forward with the plan, which is exactly the sort of thing that should have been said years ago and which the IRS will immediately turn around and demand more money to implement.

Mon Apr 20 11:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A fast track to net neutrality repeal?

Ars TechnicaRepublicans in Congress yesterday unveiled a new plan to fast track repeal of the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules. Introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and 14 Republican co-sponsors, the "Resolution of Disapproval" would use Congress' fast track powers under the Congressional Review Act to cancel the FCC's new rules.

I say make Obama veto it.

Mon Apr 20 10:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Attorney finds trojan software on police-provided hard drive

Ars TechnicaAn Arkansas lawyer representing current and former police officers in a contentious whistle-blower lawsuit is crying foul after finding three distinct pieces of malware on an external hard drive supplied by police department officials.

The casualness of this attempt, and utter lack of concern for leaving evidence of the attempt behind, is shocking. The broader point is that the police are not angels or moral paragons; if they are motivated they will lie, cheat, steal and even kill just like anyone else.

Mon Apr 20 09:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

An interview with Ted Cruz

Sun Apr 19 12:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another case of unabashed astroturf

Moms Demand used trick photography to inflate the number of people that showed up to their protest. Let's not forget that the person Bloomberg hired to run the group is a professional PR figurehead. What amazes me is why Bloomberg keeps paying for it when it doesn't seem to be, you know, fooling anyone.

Sun Apr 19 11:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Free Range Kids arrested again

Fox DCTwo Maryland children who got national attention as the "free range kids" because of their parents' decision to let them roam alone were taken into custody again Sunday by Child Protective Services.

They were within 1/3rd of a mile from their home. If that's "neglect", I was neglected as a child and my parents should have been arrested for it.

There will be a lawsuit.

Sun Apr 19 10:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ben Carson is not convincing me on guns

He gave a speech to the NRA convention recently in which he said he was extremely pro-Second Amendment.

But in 2013 he said something different.
National Review
In a March 2013 interview with Glenn Beck, Carson said, “I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people, and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it.”

And in explaining the difference, he said:

National Review
“This isn’t any evolution of my views, just that I’ve learned how to express myself,” he said, to a seemingly sympathetic chuckling from the audience. “I assumed everyone knew what I was talking about when I was saying something ..."

Nice try, Ben, and we appreciate the effort, but here's the thing.

You were wrong in 2013. You said you wouldn't want someone to have a semi-automatic weapon in the midst of a lot of people because it might fall into the hands of a crazy person. That suggests you don't support 2nd Amendment rights for those living in urban areas. And if you don't support 2nd Amendment rights for everyone, it's not really a right, is it? Worse, your wording suggests you don't understand what semi-automatic means in a firearm context. Hint: It doesn't mean machine gun. One bullet per trigger pull, just like a revolver.

And then you said, in 2015, that you did not change your views. Even though from what you are saying, it does sort of sound like you are changing your views, or rather, trying to pretend your new pander is the truth while your old views, probably those you still hold in your secret heart, are not.

We had a guy with a similar opinion once. His name was Zumbo, and he called AR-15 rifles "terrorist rifles" and didn't approve of people hunting with them. He lost his job for it, but he went out and he learned and he made his way back into the community because he admitted his error and honestly changed his views.

Ben, we don't like being lied to, and we're good at spotting it when it happens. You need to be honest with us if you want us to consider you. And that means admitting that you said something stupid and explaining how and why you changed your opinion.

Sun Apr 19 09:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS is back to meddling in elections again

They are investigating one of Cruz's big donors, and have been for 6 years, which puts them right smack in the middle of the early targeting time line.

It looks to me like the company is complying with the tax law while donating money to candidates the IRS doesn't like after being investigated for 6 years without being charged. Sound familiar?

New York TimesRenaissance was also able to increase returns by borrowing large sums of money, but the practice eventually caught the attention of Washington and government agencies. Last year the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations accused Renaissance of using complex financial structures that allowed it to underestimate how much it owed the Internal Revenue Service by $6 billion.

Because clearly there's no question of an ulterior motive for such an investigation.

Sat Apr 18 12:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lerner volunteered to take blame, pushed IG to back off

She volunteered to take the blame, but when called before Congress, she took the 5th instead. And emails recently released indicate Lerner was pressing the IG to change the targeting conclusion in its report and trying to argue that delaying a group's application did not itself constitute discriminating against that group. It would be one thing if Lerner was simply seeking to protect her subordinates; but her continued, repeated emphasis on hiding things from Congressional investigators and educating employees on the "harm" that can come from full disclosure to Congress is strong evidence that Lerner knew what she and her employees were doing was wrong and would be discovered by Congress if they investigated. She sought repeatedly to instruct and train employees to conceal information, in these new emails seeking a training program, and in earlier emails seeking to ensure that the IRS instant messaging system was not archived and was thus safe.

This. combined with her taking the 5th before Congress, constitutes substantial evidence of a guilty conscience. The repeated emphasis on avoiding disclosure bolsters the argument that she deliberately destroyed her hard drive to avoid the disclosure she feared.

And so far, she has gotten away with all of it.

Sat Apr 18 11:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Democratic party is filled with historical illiterates

Times of IsraelIn short, we didn’t ask who he voted for — there was some hope that he might be a Libertarian — but, in the fall of 2008, the facts seemed quite clear: He was going with John McCain and Sarah Palin. My sister, I feared, might follow suit.

And so I took to the computer. In an email entitled “Politics” — which I reread this week for the first time in the wake of the nuclear framework deal agreed upon in Lausanne, a deal that has left me with the clammy feeling of anticipated betrayal — I spoke about the horrors of the American prison system and the plague of racism that continue to rot America from the inside; I spoke about drugs and how only people of color are incarcerated for using and dealing them, while people like George W. Bush and every other person I knew in college was free to pull bong hits, take acid, and boil ‘shrooms to his or her heart’s content. I think I spoke about African-American role models and education and gay rights. I even told her to read Frederick Douglass.

Maybe your sister and her husband took that advice. Frederick Douglass was a Republican, like most of the abolitionists. Douglass was also an elector for the state of New York in support of Ulysses S Grant, who wrote Reasons for being a Republican, which I have included below the fold.

For those gun owners who are found of the parable of the three boxes, and especially for those gun control activists who think gun owners are racists, Wikipedia claims that saying originated with Douglass:

WikipediaIn a speech delivered on November 15, 1867, Douglass said: "A man's rights rest in three boxes. The ballot box, jury box and the cartridge box. Let no man be kept from the ballot box because of his color. Let no woman be kept from the ballot box because of her sex."

And I hope the feminists are paying attention, because the same person who cites Frederick Douglass in support of Democrats also has this to say about women:

Times of Israel"Something could happen to McCain. In walks the moose hunter.”

Such respect for the female governor of a state and Vice Presidential candidate.

I'm glad that Obama supporters are starting to consider that Obama may be wrong, now that it's too late. Is it too much to hope for that they take a closer look at how the history of their party compares to their professed ideas, and stop discounting people who care about the rights enshrined in our Constitution as moose hunters?

In all honesty, I can respect a man who would rather bet on an untried first-term Senator than McCain. McCain was a known mediocrity. Romney was a known squish. But anyone paying attention could understand that Obama was a known quantity even before his first term, and by his reelection campaign, it was plain as day what he wanted.

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Sat Apr 18 10:57:46 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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