The Democrats would offer up a plan that would fail, but would shift the perceived center of the debate to the left and gain "moderate" Republican support for preserving the entitlements, just like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and every other fucking entitlement program ever. Then, when Obamacare did finally fail, the Democrats would claim that their "free market" plan wasn't socialist enough and push for single payer. Unable to face the possibility of taking candy from voters, moderate Republicans would passively go along with the new plan.
While I support the legislation, I am under no illusions that there is a enough support to muster a veto override. I wonder if we aren't better off pushing for Congress to insert provisions that block spending on ammunition bans.
Police brazenly lying about license plate reader system
The obvious fact is that the license plate reader system has everything to do with tracking the citizens who nominally employ them, rather than with preventing burglary.
Once the data is there, it can and will be dragged into everything: court cases, lawsuits, investigations, everything. The only way to keep data like that safe is not to collect it in the first place.
If it's not being used for tracking purposes, why don't you delete the plates that don't match your hotlist immediately?
This idiot seems to think that "law enforcement purposes" and "tracking purposes" are somehow different purposes. They aren't. Law enforcement finds it very useful to track people's movements, especially if they can automate the tracking and look it up later. It's very convenient for them. It's how they solve crimes. But it's also an invasion of privacy and a violation of the 4th Amendment.
Denmark law proposes making cash transactions illegal
The author of the article seems to think this is a good idea, because it would eventually lead to a "cashless society" where all money exists only in electronic bank accounts and be subject to government control.
Darleen at Protein Wisdom points out that people who don't own the fruits of their labor are called slaves.
But there's more wrong with the idea than just that.
There is always an escape. The concept of money has existed for millenia because it is simple, effective, and it works. The moment the government's "money" system becomes more annoying to use than some other system, people will switch. And there are thousands of alternatives, whether you prefer alternative electronic systems like BitCoin, or running your black market economy on imported paper dollars from the US, or coming up with a new currency from scratch.
Believing that this proposal could actually eliminate the concept of cash is insane. ("Sharply reduce the use of" is a different question).
Read the whole thing. (Again, if necessary). I wanted to call out a specific point about the above.
Once guns exist in widespread form, gun control policy -- whether having it or not having it -- is self-reinforcing.
People in gun control states see criminals using guns to commit mass murder; they are horrified and sickened and disgusted by guns, and guns in their state are very hard to get due to gun control laws they pass in response, and in order to stop mass murders you need to rely on the police who take 15 minutes to arrive when a mass murder with a gun only needs 3 minutes to kill dozens.
People in gun-rights states do not see mass murders on the same scale because in non-gun-free-zones, people are usually armed and on the scene when the attack starts and can respond in seconds rather than minutes. This limits the causalities and tells the people of that state that they made the right choice and that guns, rather than enabling the attacker to kill dozens, instead enable the potential victims to stop the attacker with relatively few people hurt. When a gun-rights state does have a mass-murder incident with a lot of victims, it happens in a gun-free zone such as Fort Hood (yes, military bases in the US are often gun free zones for most of the people in them).
Whichever path is taken initially is the path that gets reinforced. That's how we ended up with the vastly divergent camps and policies in the US, though the 2nd Amendment should have prevented that by enforcing gun rights throughout the nation.
Applications still pending for some conservative groups
One of them is Karl Rove's group, which is probably the real reason the other groups are still being held up; just holding back the one group would look far more suspicious than holding back a few. And that makes three election cycles that those groups have been kept out of (2010, 2012, 2014), and coming up fast on four. And it's not necessary to deny a group; delaying it indefinitely is often quite enough to cripple it.
This smells like weak reform to me. Remember, the legislation being used to authorize most of the surveillance expires in June, so one of the possible alternatives is not renewing authorization at all. Of course, the flip side of that is that McConnell wants to renew with no changes at all.
Trump is running for the Republican nomination for President. My take... I don't know. I feel like Trump is running more for personal publicity and to take part in the clown show than anything else, especially after his candidacy in 2012 fizzled out pointlessly. He doesn't have any significant political experience or any voting record to back up whatever he says his views on. His speech was big on applause lines and pretty much completely empty of coherent policy proposals to achieve the results he bragged about.
He has exactly the sort of personality, wealth, and ego that could make him an absolute game-changer if he decided to run seriously. Those same qualities could also make him an utter loose cannon. And his history of policy positions is not encouraging.
I'm not going to take him seriously until he shows some signs of taking the campaign seriously. And if he ever does that, I'm going to take a long hard look at what he's supported in the past as well as what he is claiming to support now.
I will be interested to see what these reports produce. I believe this committee has authorization to view the unredacted documents from the IRS, so they have the opportunity to build a better -- or at least more complete -- factual picture of what happened.
Oddly enough, Wyden has earned some credit with me for his efforts to expose the NSA surveillance operations. I hold out some hope that he will do a credible job without trying to cover up smidgens of corruption.
Calling it "network neutrality" is deceptive; it is far broader and more dangerous than that. Every horror story you heard about Ma Bell under government regulation will now be applied to the Internet.
It is racist to claim that the color of your skin renders your actions immune from moral scrutiny. It is sexist to claim that your gender renders your thoughts immune from moral scrutiny. It is exactly as racist for a black woman to make that claim as it would be for a white male to make that claim.
Nebraska legislator would shoot police before ISIS
There may be some police officers who act like thugs, but those are individual bad apples and their bad qualities are usually limited. ISIS, on the other hand, is an organization devoted to brutal murder, sexual slavery, torture, and extermination of damn near anyone up to and including mass murder of children for watching a soccer game.
There's a BIG difference, and it's not just geographic location.
Obama just took new unconstitutional action on immigration
And once here, legally, they can obtain identification documents and register to vote. As they will not be citizens, they should not be allowed to vote; but any attempt to clean the voter rolls of non-citizens will be challenged in court by the Obama administration (as they have already been doing for the last several election cycles). Thus, those who register will likely be able to vote.
TSA doesn't even know if its' bomb scanners are working
So, for over a decade now, the TSA has been slowing people down, sexually harassing them, taking pictures of them in the nude with advanced technology that may cause cancer, and violating the Fourth Amendment... in return for precisely zero benefit in safety because the machines don't work.
When I started writing this post, I was going to object to this idea that American lives may be at risk because the bomb-detecting machines aren't working properly to detect bombs, and thus a terrorist attack might cost lives. The truth is that the TSA bomb-detecting machines have never stopped a terrorist attack. Every failed terrorist attack, including such famous incidents as the underwear bomber and the shoe bomber, got on the plane successfully.
Tax-exempt Media Matters hires Clinton advisor as 2016 campaign heats up
It's fine for Democrats to do this, but the IRS will come down on you like a ton of bricks if a conservative organization tries to get a tax exemption for engaging in politics. Rules are for suckers. And the fact-checking organizations are political propaganda anyway. And, oh yes...
IRS employee tasked with recovering Lerner emails legally blind
This actually isn't news to me, because I read the original documents in which it was mentioned, but I didn't think it was worth reporting on from a serious perspective. It's possible to do effective work on computers without much vision. Mind you, it's likely to be slow going and some tasks will remain difficult, but it's not quite so absurd as it sounds at first glance.
But then, it sounds pretty absurd. I'm willing to post it for laughs.
When the IRS says they are manually deduplicating the additional emails discovered, bear this in mind:
1) The Inspector General already bought software to remove duplicate emails -- and when your document base includes 30,000+ emails, computers will be far better at identifying duplicates than humans.
2) There is absolutely no reason to be concerned about releasing duplicate emails. Just release them. Judicial Watch and the public can sort out any duplicates.
Of course, what the IRS is really doing has nothing to do with deduplication. The IRS has sent the emails provided by the Inspector General to the special cover-up review board where the same people involved in the targeting are now working diligently to redact, deduplicate, and otherwise hide the evidence.
In addition to the due process and other Constitutional concerns with these seizures, which should be fatal to the process on their own, they represent an end run around legislative control of funding for police agencies.