FBI took seven years to comply with Congressional privacy requirements
I am sure of four things:
1) The government, FBI and NSA included, will treat new restrictions in any reauthorization of the Patriot Act surveillance rules with exactly the same urgency and respect that they treated the requirements in the original 2006 reauthorization act. That is, with very nearly zero respect.
3) If Congress fails to reauthorize the NSA public surveillance program, there will shortly thereafter be one or more terrorist attacks that the government will claim they could have stopped if only they had been allowed to continue spying on people who aren't terrorists. This will likely lead to reauthorization in secret.
4) No whistleblowers will emerge to point out that they never actually stopped.
Oh, and while I'm on the subject... notice how the focus is suddenly on the NSA's telephone records surveillance program, when the NSA's Internet surveillance program is much more relevant to modern life?
Governor Abbott has promised to sign it, so that's pretty much that.
Note that you still need to have a license to carry.
This is a step forward for gun rights in Texas. It does not yet go far enough, but it is a good start. We need to work to add language preventing police from stopping individuals solely because they are carrying a firearm openly, and we need to remove the licensing requirement so that anyone legally allowed to own a gun can also carry one openly without breaking the law.
Given the license requirement, probably the most important part of this law is the protection it offers to those already licensed to carry a concealed handgun whose concealment is rendered momentarily ineffective. Previously, you could actually get in legal trouble if, say, the wind blew your jacket open. Once this legislation goes into effect, that won't be an issue.
The proper time and place to bring this pressure was before the Senate confirmed her. Now that she has been confirmed, she has no reason to comply. This is pure political theater.
UPDATE: The plot thickens. The letter is requesting a status update on the matters other than contempt which Congress also referred to the DOJ, specifically misleading the Treasury IG, improperly influencing IRS action against conservative organizations, and disclosing taxpayer information improperly (by using personal email). The decision not to charge Lerner for contempt did not address those other issues, so they are presumably still open.
He is obviously guilty of being a Republican politician.
UPDATE: The Washington Post is reporting on leaked details that appear to amount to a blackmail scheme in which Hastert was the victim. If the allegations are correct, Hastert's conduct was presumably criminal, right? So why is he being charged with "structuring" and a paper-thin charge of lying to investigators?
All in all, this seems to be a remarkably strange situation. Whatever Hastert may have done in the past, the present charges seem purely political.
This is certainly environmental indoctrination, and it is certainly objectionable (if perhaps inevitable in government controlled schools) to use the school system to push political causes and beliefs. But it's far from new. I went to high school in the 1990s. I remember global warming was a frequent topic and events like "Earth Day" prompted speakers and assemblies. People usually manage to grow out of their childhood indoctrination once it is confronted by evidence to the contrary.
The problem is that the modern environment movement has successfully divorced itself from any reliance upon actual evidence among believers. The new ice age scare turned into global warming turned into climate change and now climate disruption. It has become completely unfalsifiable, unaccountable, and evidence free. The frantic data manipulations of climate "scientists" are no longer necessary. The faithful will believe in the face of proof to the contrary.
Pournelle lays out the end game:
That's the end game, and it has always been the end game.
1200 MORE Clinton emails deemed personal and not released
Remember, these emails have already been picked over by Clinton's personal staff to ensure that "personal" emails were removed and not turned over to the State Department. Now, the State Department is itself declaring that even more emails are "personal" and will not be released or stored as part of the public record. While the State Department is a more neutral and appropriate party to be conducting the review (now that Clinton is now longer head of the department, at least), I still think it's interesting and suspicious that more emails are being withheld. I suspect they are just using it as an excuse to hide information that damages someone other than Hillary.
Clinton foundation sued for email server access and racketeering
Normally I would discount this as a longshot lawsuit that wasn't likely to amount to much, but the request to seize the email server makes it potentially significant. If the judge grants such a request, it seems likely to open a can of worms for the Clintons.
If Hillary did in fact delete -- or order deleted, whatever the mechanism -- then this could lead to serious problems for Hillary. Criminal problems. But only if she loses in 2016.
That shouldn't matter, but obviously it does.
Obama is obviously not going to prosecute anyone with a D after their name, at least as long as the party stays in ranks behind him. Hillary will obviously not prosecute herself for covering up Benghazi, which leaves a Republican president with integrity as the only possible hope for prosecuting the cover-up operation.
Chances of electing a Republican look pretty good. Chances that Republican will actually have the integrity to prosecute Hillary for covering up her role in the Benghazi cover up are slim.
Both of those news items simplify the issue considerably, yet make points that are vitally important. We cannot afford to allow large numbers of Muslim immigrants into our nation if we want to keep our democracy and our relative safety from terrorism. That does not mean that every Muslim is a terrorist, or supports terrorism, or opposes democracy. It does mean that the Muslim idea of democracy is substantially different from that of Western nations, leaving out important freedoms of speech and religion that the west takes for granted.
That is why the United States is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. Even a Muslim majority cannot use government to violate the rights of free speech and freedom of religion spelled out in our Constitution. But those protections are only as strong as the people defending them.
The IRS is preparing to regulate political speech again
They really need to just back away from this issue. They have neither the expertise nor the political credibility to manage it properly, and the fact that they keep returning to the issue makes their motives perfectly clear.
This quote leaped out at me from early in the decision, referring to the consequences of allowing an illegal alien to remain lawfully within the United States:
This is a victory, but it's only a temporary victory. The nature of an injunction like this depends on the results of the final case, and while granting an injunction usually indicates a likelihood of success on the merits, there is still a lot of lawyering to do including the possibility of a Supreme Court appeal on the injunction itself even before the merits of the case are considered.
So take this as a good sign, not a final decision.
And when the person who tossed a grenade into a baby's crib won't pay a dime towards the medical bills of the baby in question, and even the taxpayer settlement doesn't cover those medical bills, you know you're dealing with a SWAT raid.
$7 billion in food aid to ineligible recipients per year
The people administering these programs don't seem to understand that it isn't just money for them to give away to favored constituent groups; it's a political compromise that is supposed to represent compassion for the truly needy. When the terms of the political compromise are blatantly violated without remorse, it puts the whole program at risk.