TriggerFinger


Former Obama appointed ambassador to Israel accuses Obama of purposely damaging relations

Gateway PunditAmbassador Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States from 2009 to the end of 2013, penned a damning op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today. Oren, a one-time Obama supporter, accuses the far left president of purposely damaging U.S.-Israel relations.

Purposely. And the accusation comes from an Obama appointee.

Fri Jun 19 10:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama's new Attorney General Lynch is nuts

Washington TimesShe pledged “to preserve our national security and our cherished liberties, to make safe the world of cyberspace, to end the scourge of modern-day slavery, and [to] confront the very nature of our citizens’ relationship with those of us entrusted to protect and to serve.”…

Since the Attorney General does not write software and has no jurisdiction over hackers in China, there's no way she can do anything about that. She can certainly try to confront the nature of our relationship with police, and there's a lot that needs to be confronted on that topic, but if she is under the delusion that "the scourge of modern-day slavery" has anything to do with that relationship, she's not going to get very far in solving it.

Fri Jun 19 09:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama is all about gun control again

The Hill“Now is a time for mourning and for healing, but let’s be clear: at some point, we as a country we will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence doesn’t happen in other advanced countries,” Obama said.

Let me be clear, Mr. President. Stoking racial animosity for political advantage has consequences in the form of increased racial tension and the resulting violence. I don't blame you for this shooting, but I do blame you for contributing to the environment in which it occurred with actions much more substantial than publishing a political map.

And as for this sort of thing not happening in other advanced nations:
6 killed, 15 wounded by illegally owned firearms in the Netherlands
16 dead, 15 injured in Hungerford, England
18 dead, 15 injured in Dunblane, Scotland
152 dead, 700+ injured in London, England (Al Qaeda attack; bombs)
12 dead, 11 injured in Cumbria, England
77 dead, 200 injured in Norway (bombs involved)
16 dead, 1 injured in Germany
16 dead, 7 injured in Germany
22 injured in Germany (most with molotov cocktails)

That's a few minutes with Google. I don't post this because I think guns should be banned. I post this because banning guns does not make the world a safer place; it just ensures that only criminals and those well-connected politically will have guns. Like most mass shootings in the US, this attack took place in a gun-free zone:

John LottThe horrible tragedy last night that left nine people dead at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., probably could have been avoided. Like so many other attacks, the massacre took place in a gun-free zone, a place where the general public was banned from having guns. The gun-free zone obviously didn’t stop the killer from bringing a gun into the church.

Gun control doesn't stop criminals from using guns to commit murder. It stops honest people from defending themselves.

UPDATE: At least 2 dead, 50 injured in Austria with a car and a knife. It's early yet so some of the injured may not survive. Also, reports indicate that the murderer in this case has been charged with firearm possession indicating he was not a legal owner. And as commenters have pointed out, I should not leave out the recent Charlie Hebdo massacre (16 dead, 22 wounded) in France.

Thu Jun 18 14:07:00 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS laughs at request to investigate Clinton Foundation

Washington ExaminerThe IRS responded to a Republican request for an investigation into the Clinton Foundation's tax-exempt status with a one-page form letter that starts with "Dear Sir or Madam."

In May, more than 50 House Republicans asked the IRS to review the Clinton Foundation's tax-exempt status, after it became clear that the foundation had failed to report millions of dollars in grants from foreign governments.

Under Obama, the IRS has become utterly, completely politicized. It takes every possible measure to suppress opposition, to cover up the suppression that has already occurred, and refuses to even consider examining Democrats with well-publicized ethics issues in their so-called non-profits.

Thu Jun 18 12:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Cutting funds for gun control

NRA via Sebastian a prohibition on the use of funds for “Operation Choke Point,” a program that chokes off banking services to legitimate businesses;
a prohibition on funds to prevent the Obama Administration from banning commonly used ammunition, such as M855;
a prohibition on the use of funds to prevent the Justice Department (or any government entity) from spending taxpayer dollars on “gun walking” programs such as the flawed and controversial “Operation Fast and Furious”;
a prohibition on the use of funds to maintain any record or gun registry on multiple rifle or shotgun sales to law-abiding individuals;
a prohibition of funds for collecting data regarding a person’s race or ethnicity on a Form 4473 when purchasing a firearm.

As Sebastian points out, the administration is likely to just do it anyway. He'll be out of office before anyone can call him on it, even if the courts prove willing to do so. But putting the prohibitions in place is a step forward.

Thu Jun 18 11:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS IT claims are incompetence... or malice

Washington TimesBut she defended her agency’s transparency record, saying they are trying to do the best they can with the money and manpower they have. She said their technology in particular is woefully inadequate, and that searching for records to respond to a request means going through each employee’s email inbox separately.

If this is true, it is evidence of complete and utter incompetence in the IRS IT arena. It is not a matter of insufficient funding and manpower (especially with the IRS admitting that they have "hundreds of lawyers" tasked with concealing information from Congress). With an agency like the IRS, which should expect both information requests from Congress as a matter of course and lawsuits from "customers", it's evidence of incompetence sufficient to fire even a government employee.

Or malice.

I'm betting malice.

Thu Jun 18 10:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Terrorist lives matter

Gateway Pundit“Black Lives Matter” protesters are planning a rally on Friday in support of Usaamah Rahim, the Boston terrorist [and ISIS supporter] who was shot and killed in Boston this week.

If you actually want to improve civil rights, it's important to pick your causes carefully. Trying to build support for someone who is utterly unsympathetic to the majority of Americans will not succeed in advancing your cause.

Thu Jun 18 09:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton faces racketeering lawsuit over email server, Clinton foundation donations

The HillThe conservative group Freedom Watch has filed a racketeering lawsuit against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that accuses her of failing to produce documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The civil suit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, argues that Clinton used her private emails to sell access to other officials in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation.

It's hard to say whether this is really a big deal or not. It's one of those cases that makes big allegations, but those allegations may not pan out or be proven. It does serve as a reminder that the trouble over the Clintons' private email server is not likely to go away for a long, long time.

Wed Jun 17 12:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BREAKING: KOCH BROTHERS FUNDED RIOTS

Yes, it's the third Koch brother, the secret one named Soros. Turns out Soros basically bought the riots in Ferguson -- and the paid-for agitators were given instructions to coordinate with the media about when and where they would cover events. So why don't we know who in the media was basically acting as a megaphone for propaganda -- and why do they still have jobs?

Don't bother answering, it's a rhetorical question.

Wed Jun 17 11:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Illegal alien criminals released into US rather than deported

Judicial WatchThousands of illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes—including rape, child molestation and kidnapping—have been released in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the agency doesn’t bother keeping track of the alien convicts.

The basic problem here is that these people were caught, convicted of serious violent crimes, and served a prison sentence in the US for those crimes. They were also here in the US illegally. When their criminal sentence was complete, they were released into the US rather than deported to their country of origin.

The debate over what to do about people who are in the US illegally but want to become loyal citizens is one thing. The question of what to do with people who commit crimes is a different one, and hopefully a much easier one. But the Obama administration doesn't seem to see a difference.

An administration rationally seeking amnesty for illegal immigrants would surely wish to keep the political image of those immigrants as positive as possible by vigorously imprisoning and deporting those whose criminal acts threaten the general population.

So why is this administration releasing them instead?

I can only think of two possible reasons:

1) Like Fast and Furious, increasing crime rates provide an argument for gun control to a naive electorate.

2) Obama sees these individuals as foot soldiers in his revolution of the proletariat. Their crimes may not be useful public relations, but their propensity for violence will be useful in other ways.

Wed Jun 17 10:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Hillary actually turn over all of her emails?

It seems that the Congressional committees investigating Benghazi asked Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal to turn over all of his emails to Hillary on that topic, and he actually complied with the request. The results don't match what Hillary turned over from her private server via the State Department.

New York TimesEmails that a longtime confidant to Hillary Rodham Clinton recently handed over to the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, raise new questions about whether the State Department and Mrs. Clinton have complied with a series of requests from the panel.

It is not clear whether the State Department possesses the emails between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Blumenthal and did not hand them over. It is also possible that Mrs. Clinton never provided them to the department and deleted them off the server that housed the personal account she used exclusively when she was secretary of state.

It's possible the emails went missing at the State Department, in which case they can be identified and turned over. More likely, though, Hillary never provided them.

When the New York Times is publicly doubting the Democrat front runner for president, the bloom is definitely gone from the rose. At this point, the only question is: who is going to sweep in at the last minute and put Hillary out to pasture?

None of the alternatives are particularly appetizing.

Wed Jun 17 09:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Maryland officially gives up on ballistic fingerprinting

NRA News via Gun Blog Black ListYour NRA-ILA is glad to report that Governor Larry Hogan (R) has signed into law Senate Bill 736. As previously reported, SB 736, sponsored by state Senator Edward Reilly (R-33), will eliminate the unnecessary database and failed ballistic fingerprint system from state law. This pro-gun bill will remove an unnecessary burden from firearm manufacturers who are required to continue sending shell cases to a program that has been unfunded for years. SB 736 was unanimously passed by the Maryland Senate on April 11, and passed by the House of Delegates on a 135 to 2 vote on April 13.

Total crimes solved: 0.

Tue Jun 16 12:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

California legislation to require a warrant for Stringray use

Ars TechnicaThis bill would prohibit a government entity from compelling the production of or access to electronic communication information or electronic device information, as defined, without a search warrant or wiretap order, except for emergency situations, as defined. The bill would define a number of terms for those purposes, including, among others, “electronic communication information,” “service provider,” and “electronic device information.” The bill would require a search warrant for electronic communication information to encompass no more information than is necessary to achieve the objective of the search and would impose other conditions on the use of the search warrant or wiretap order and the information obtained, including retention and disclosure.

Small steps in the right direction, at least.

Tue Jun 16 11:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Operation Chokepoint strikes again

TorrentFreak via Daily PunditAccording to Mega, following the publication of the report last September, SOPA and PIPA proponent Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont, Chair Senate Judiciary Committee) put Visa and MasterCard under pressure to stop providing payment services to the ‘rogue’ companies listed in the NetNames report.

Following Leahy’s intervention, Visa and MasterCard then pressured PayPal to cease providing payment processing services to MEGA. As a result, Mega is no longer able to process payments.

This is basically the same idea as Operation Chokepoint, only it's going after encryption instead of guns. And if you can't take credit card payments, as an internet business you are out of business. That's clearly a due process violation. At least if the government took them to court for refusing to provide information on a valid warrant, they could fight it. This way there's nothing to fight, it just becomes impossible to run a business.

Tue Jun 16 10:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The importance of timing

Now that the Supreme Court has undoubtedly already written their decision in King v Burwell (the Obamacare subsidies on federal exchanges case) we are seeing releases of emails indicating that, surprise, Gruber was an important person in the development of Obamacare after all.

This matters, of course, because Gruber is on video explaining the rationale for providing subsidies to states who set up their own exchanges, and if there is a coherent explanation for that language in the legislation, then it becomes more difficult to judicially ignore the language.

The records were released in response to freedom of information act requests, but the administration controls the timing of those releases. And they are released conveniently after the Supreme Court has already decided the issue.

Tue Jun 16 09:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Anti-science environmentalists trying to discredit satellite measurements now

Ars TechnicaSatellites sound like the ideal technological solution, but we need to measure the change in distance between the sea surface and a satellite hurtling by over 1,300 kilometers overhead very accurately. Getting accurate enough to detect an average change of about three millimeters over the course of a year has its challenges.

Even if a satellite holds its orbit perfectly, you still have to worry about subtle shifts in the measurements reported by your electronics as they bounce radio waves off the planet. Those shifts are called “bias drifts”—gradually increasing errors that mess with the trend you’re trying to reveal.

At some point, when you are trying to measure millimeter-level changes from thousands of miles away, you have to give up and say that the errors in your method of measurement are sufficient to prevent accurate measurements beyond a certain precision. In the case of sea level changes, trying to correct for bias drifts that small over such a huge measurement area strikes me as a complete waste of time.

And, lo and behold, when you perform their suggested "corrections", the new data suggests that the sea level rise is accelerating (Global Warming Climate Disruption just panic already!) when previously it was decelerating.

Ars TechnicaIf this seems like much ado about some decimals, it’s because those decimals make a big difference. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “business-as-usual” projection that reaches about one meter of sea level rise by the end of the century involves an acceleration of “just” 0.07 millimeters per year over the first few decades.

In other words, after the first few decades a miracle occurs and everything changes, and that step happens far enough in the future that it can't be falsified before it is forgotten.

Ars TechnicaIn order to get this stuff right, you really have to squeeze your instruments until all the decimals come out.

Sometimes when you "squeeze your instruments until all the decimals come out" you break the instrument and render the output meaningless.

Mon Jun 15 12:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama knew Bergdahl was a deserter when he agreed to the swap

The HillShe said that the president was “familiar” with the desertion accusations before he agreed to the deal, but said the White House wants to let the military justice system play out without “prejudging” that outcome.

5 terrorists AND money for one known deserter.

Mon Jun 15 11:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Don't mention global warming, because there isn't any.

Doug Ross via Daily PunditWhen conducting environmental impact analyses on rules and projects, federal agencies should only talk about carbon dioxide emissions increases — not things like potential increases in temperature, precipitation, storm intensity and other environmental impacts that scientists warn about... Why is that? Federal environmental assessments will likely show regulations have a negligible impact on the environment in terms of temperature rises, sea level rises and such — indeed if every industrialized country stopped emitting carbon dioxide tomorrow, temperatures would only be reduced 0.21 degrees Celsius by 2100.

And if there are no negative impacts, why should we worry about it exactly?

Mon Jun 15 10:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

$2M in public funds spent on legal representation for illegal aliens

As if it weren’t infuriating enough that American taxpayers are being forced to house, feed, medically treat and educate the never-ending influx of illegal immigrant minors, the Obama administration is also doling out millions of dollars to provide them with free legal representation.

This is not actually legal representation. This is an attempt to end-run the system. Obama will bring in the illegal aliens, and these lawyers -- funded by US tax dollars -- will shepherd them through the approved program to obtain Obama's amnesty.

Mon Jun 15 09:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama objects to CMP selling ordinary 1911 handguns

No Lawyers -- Only Guns and MoneyI knew the Depart of Justice had become politicized under the Obama Administration but I still held out hopes for institutions like the US Army. It appears that my hopes were in vain. Based upon the document embedded below, the Army's Congressional Liaison Office has as many political toadies as the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.

At this point, Obama isn't even bothering to try to come up with effective gun control measures. He's just trying to screw gun owners, because we blocked his legislative attempts at gun control. We're talking about a firearm design that is over a hundred years old, already widely sold on the civilian market, and is going through an existing program that already complies fully with the law and is actually more selective than the process for buying a newly manufactured firearm.

Sun Jun 14 12:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The House of Democrats

VodkaPunditThe first thing that occurred to me was that eventually that law they voted for, that their president campaigned on, has to eventually take effect.
The second thing that occurred to me was, “Really? Why?”
The third thing that occurred to me was, if I may say so myself, brilliant.
Let me explain.

I bet we could even get the Democrats to fall for enthusiastically embrace legislation and litigation without the constraints of the Constitution...

Sun Jun 14 11:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Legislation to block FCC internet takeover introduced

Ars TechnicaPrior to today, Republicans filed legislation that would prevent the FCC from regulating broadband under common carrier laws, but allow the commission to enforce net neutrality restrictions on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. They also launched an investigation into the FCC's net neutrality proceedings, claiming the White House had "an improper influence."

I'm not sure giving the FCC a small piece of pie to stop them taking the whole pie by force is entirely appropriate, but it's probably a moot point given Obama's veto and the Republican refusal to use the power of the purse.

Sun Jun 14 10:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

It's that the money is presumed to be guilty

Washington Post"We don’t have to prove that the person is guilty," an Albuquerque DEA agent told the Journal. "It’s that the money is presumed to be guilty."

I do not understand how these cases weren't tossed out by the courts from the start.

Sun Jun 14 09:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Weirddave reinvents the earned income tax credit

So I propose that we simplify the entire system, break it down to what it actually is. Set up the qualifications for government assistance, declare the dollar amounts that people qualify for based upon whatever metrics we chose (family size, poverty level income, whatever), and then just write people a check and be done with it. Just think about how much money we'll save on administrative costs! Now that we're no longer trying to hide what we're actually doing behind bullshit justifications we can save billions in administrative costs. Also, if we make it very clear exactly how much all men are paid for existing (and none are paying for their sins), then maybe we can have an actual honest national conversation on the welfare state. Yes, some folks will blow the entire check on meth on the first of the month and have no money for the rest of the month. That's their problem. If they have dependents, then those dependents go into foster care. We did our part.

The reasoning isn't necessarily wrong. There are a lot of problems with this approach, just as there are a lot of problems with the dedicated-funds approach to government charity. But the real, fundamental problem is that we've already tried this idea. It's the idea behind the earned income tax credit, which pays a lump sum payment every year to people who have incomes below a certain point (roughly the poverty line, modified by number of dependents).

You'll note that we still have food stamps, unemployment programs, medical programs for the poor, ObamaPhones, ObamaInternets, housing programs, and so on.

I reject the idea of expanding the earned income tax credit or similar "just pay them cash and simplify everything" programs for two reasons. The first reason is that we will inevitably end up paying whatever cash amount is specified and then paying again to provide housing, food, and other necessities.

Why will we end up paying twice? Because of the second reason: we don't trust people to spend money we give them on the things we want them to spend it on, and we aren't willing to let other people suffer because of those bad choices. If someone receiving food stamps doesn't want to buy food because they would rather buy cigarettes, they can trade their stamps for their cigarettes, yes. But should we make it easier for them to do that? Particularly when the people going hungry as a result may be children?

(And yes, that's why we have school lunch programs. Not to mention school breakfast and dinner programs. It ensures the children are fed even if their parents are utterly irresponsible and incapable of arranging that themselves).

While a rational person will necessarily understand that resources provided to aid the poor are fungible, they will also understand that not everyone will make the same value choices as everyone else. And make no mistake, charity is a value choice.

Sat Jun 13 12:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton opposition research group looked at Rubio and only found traffic tickets

Gateway PunditThe New York Times Friday report that Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and his wife Jeanette have been cited 17 times for traffic violations was written after the citations were pulled by liberal opposition research firm American Bridge, according to Miami-Dade County court records.

The amusing thing is that they sold the story to the New York Times, the New York Times bought it, and then lied about where they got the story.

The real takeaway to remember, though, is that the Clinton opposition research team searched Rubio's past and found... traffic tickets. 13 of which were issued to Rubio's wife, which is why the New York Times is reporting them as a unit.

Hillary has Benghazi, a private email server, a billion dollar foundation bribery scandal, her husband's loaded past, her own loaded past (FBI files, Whitewater, being fired from Watergate), and god knows what else will come out as documents slowly drip out.

And the best she can find on the Republican candidates to change the subject with are traffic tickets.

If the Democrats didn't have the media on their side...

Sat Jun 13 11:03:45 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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