A proposed compromise where we still lose ground won't fly
T-Bolt is generally a pretty good guy, but he hasn't thought this one all the way through. Even if the serial number doesn't get called in to the Feds, if it's on the FFL paperwork it is still registration. And it is on that paperwork, it's just that they have a lot of trouble prosecuting you for not turning it in so long as you can say you bought it and sold it later. Giving up on universal background checks turns this toothless registration system into a real -- enforceable with criminal penalties -- registration system, and doesn't gain us anything.
We would be much better off going with a system that was first proposed (that I know of) by Joe of View from North Central Idaho. I've mentioned it a few times myself, and the beauty of it is that it eliminates any need for "universal background checks" by making them both unnecessary and easy. The basic idea is simple: you add a symbol to the identification cards (ie, drivers licenses) issued by the states. The symbol is a gun, either with or without a red circle and slash crossing it out. If you have just the gun, you can buy or sell a gun legally to anyone else with just the gun in your state (current law) or any other state (small legal change).
All you have to do is check that the ID has not expired and does not have the red slash, and your sale is legal. The state checks your background when it issues the license, and if your status changes, it confiscates your old license and issues a new one.
No phone call to the police. No risk of selling to a criminal. No need for a dealer charging a fee and keeping records of private sales. If you want to cover your ass a little, take a picture of the license and the symbol of the guy you sold to with your cell phone and the serial number of the gun in the background. Easy, simple, legal.
And the government has no idea who has what guns, or even whether you have a gun at all, because they check everyone when they issue the license, not on any gun-related event.
But wait... what about the criminals, they will just sell guns to each other without checking the symbol?
What do you think they are doing right now?
This is the only form of universal background check I will ever support, and I will cheerfully compromise to allow this form of universal background check if the antis are willing to give us back something big in return -- say, that pesky little 1986 amendment.
This is hardly a surprise, but it's always good to have proof to wave around for the election.
And you know what else is interesting? Hillary had private audio of her anti-gun statements leaked (see above); Obama himself is famous for his "bitter clingers" line delivered in a setting he thought was private.
I think a lot of these donor people that the left thinks agree with them on guns actually don't, they just aren't willing to say so publicly and lose friends..
We will probably never know, because her emails are gone and Koskinen ordered the backups destroyed. But I'm sure we are all confident that the IRS would never misuse such a capability to target its political opponents.
Not quoted, but there have been indications that the Clinton's plant people still loyal to them within various media organizations in order to help shape coverage. These people, though officially employed by the media organization (usually as a consultant or commentator or the like) are still loyal to the Clintons and work to spin and shape the news to their benefit. I'm sure it's not just the Clintons doing this, either. Hillary is just the one whose emails about it are being analyzed with a fine-toothed comb.
You know, when I first heard about Hurricane Patricia, I felt bad. I felt bad because I live in central Texas -- supposedly one of the areas hardest hit by the storm in the US, thanks to flooding -- and hadn't seen any rainfall heavier than a few scattered showers. No thunder, no lightning, not even anything to set your windshield wipers to high. A persistent drizzle, and occasionally scattered showers. When they announced it was going to hit Mexico, I thought that they were overhyping the hurricane because it was going to be their excuse for another flood of third-world "refugees" from Mexico into the US and we were supposed to feel sorry for them and let them in and give them citizenship and voting rights so they can elect Democrats. And maybe a bit of global warming scare tactics on the side.
I thought all that, and then I thought, "No, surely that's not it, it's just that the hurricane is doing all its damage in Mexico."
See, this is how the left works. Government funds Planned Parenthood; Planned Parenthood funds protesters who attack politicians who seek to stop the flow of funds; the media presents the paid protesters as having some sort of moral authority and making the politician controversial and anti-woman; and the public are, in theory, convinced that Fiorina is somehow anti-woman or anti-health. Even though the whole thing is a Potemkin Village, the general public sees the media signaling and thinks that the protesters represent the opinion of a large segment of the ordinary population, and the herd instinct kicks in to shift public opinion.
FBI combined criminal, military, civil background check fingerprint data before OPM hack
In other words, if you have ever been in the military, or been background checked for a job for the government, your fingerprints are not not only in government records, but in the hands of everyone (ie, the Chinese) who ever hacked those government records, and now will have the shiny new feature of being searched alongside the criminal fingerprint database when police check a crime scene.
The internet presented revolutionary free speech technology because anyone could operate a web server or a mailing list from a small computer. It was not necessary to be AT&T, or own a newspaper or TV network to speak to a large audience. Internet protocols were designed to support this, with anyone being able to run servers publishing information or hosting email communication. Sites like google and facebook represent a degree of re-centralization of the internet that marginalizes third-party sites and reduces the amount of freedom, and free speech, on the Internet.
BREAKING: DOJ closes investigation of IRS targeting
Warning, autoplay video at the link.
This is, of course, a completely foregone conclusion at a thoroughly corrupted Department of Injustice. It ignores the mountains of evidence based on actual treatment of applicants and the suspicious destruction of multiple computers and backups, not to mention Koskinen's foot-dragging attempts to obstruct justice.
UPDATE: I may have made a small correction to the above.
Volkswagon caught faking results to pass emissions tests
On the one hand, this is fraud, and that's wrong. On the other, the emissions regulations have been tightened to the point of absurdity and beyond. I can't really blame companies for recognizing this and responding to it. People do not respect laws that make no sense, and when they lose respect for the laws, they stop obeying them.
First, it is now proven that Hillary did not turn over everything work-related as she claimed she had done. That's significant as a general indicator, but it's not in itself damaging. The damage will come from whatever specific emails were not turned over, if and when they are recovered.
Second, though, it gives us an idea what kind of emails Hillary declined to turn over. Remember, a lot of this is driven by Benghazi. Hillary had sudden medical problems that prevented her from testifying -- about Benghazi. Petraeus was prevented from testifying about Benghazi by his removal on charges of mishandling classified information. Hillary's emails were requested for the Benghazi investigation. And now communications with Petraeus are missing, which suggests that someone did a search for Petraeus in Hillary's email database and removed those emails from what was turned over.
We likely won't find out why from this set of emails. But there will be more.
This doesn't surprise me, really. I reported on the possibility months ago when I read the exact words of the letter Hillary sent the Benghazi committee stating she had deleted her emails. She, or rather her lawyers, said at the time that Hillary had configured either her email account or her server with a 60-day retention period for emails. Anything older than 60 days would be deleted automatically.
This policy was walking a tightrope between many thorny legal issues. First, it gives Hillary something to say to refute allegations of deliberately deleting embarrassing emails; she can say that she deleted them all via an automated process (see my article on the dark side of data retention policies) rather than a willful act that could be construed as a guilty conscience or an attempt to cover up some specific email.
It also covers her ass going forward -- anything older than 60 days is no longer in her possession, automatically.
But, if she wants to preserve the claim of not having anything to hide, it makes it very hard to explain why someone would subsequently wipe her server with serious information-security tools.
So Hillary's play here is to say she's deleted the emails, let everyone assume they have been wiped and there isn't any reason to go looking for them very hard, and hope no one actually goes looking. Obviously the FBI decided to call her bluff and go looking, something that undoubtedly is closely related to Obama wanting to push her out of the Democrat presidential primary.
All that said, we still don't really know the truth. For all we know, Hillary could have orchestrated a server swap that would result in the server having three sets of data: the current set of emails, the current emails plus those deleted by her expiration policy minus anything truly incriminating, and a (wiped) set of emails that once contained the really incriminating stuff.
I think it's unlikely Hillary is actually trying something like that, though. It's too hard to do that in a way that would stand up to a thorough investigation. Odds are she simply didn't do a thorough wipe for fear of looking guilty. If there's anything actually incriminating in those emails -- such as classified material -- that could result in Hillary actually being guilty.
This ruling sounds like it would trivially extend to computer passwords and passphrases for encryption keys used to protect messages or hard drives. It seems obvious that the 5th Amendment would block the police from forcing you to disclose your password to them, but I believe this is only the second such ruling in the US. (There may be others that did not reach the news I follow, or that I don't remember; but I am confident this is an unusual ruling).
It does appear to be limited to "personal thought processes" but excludes protection for "business records", meaning I presume that anything actually sent or received can be retrieved from the phone company.
... and the left is only now discovering that health insurance is not the same thing as health care. If they manage to elect Hillary!, no doubt they will want to put HillaryCare! into place to replace the old ObamaCare! that was supposed to fix all the problems created by government distortion of the health care market.
Inspector General referred 47 IRS employees for political scrutiny investigation
Almost 50 people referred for investigation, with no publicity, and the IRS has already "cleared" half of them while only threatening to punish 8 for potential future conduct (effectively clearly them of risk for their past conduct).
The IRS remains in full coverup mode. They can't actually punish anyone, regardless of the facts, because that would be news and cast doubt on their "nothing to see here" narrative.
I confess to wondering who Obama will demand as Biden's running mate. Will it be an utterly blatant third-and-fourth term Michelle Obama, or someone he thinks he can control without being so obvious about it?
Note: This post should not be construed as an endorsement of any candidates mentioned, not mentioned, or speculated about. I obviously don't support any of the Democrats running and I'd rather vote for the mystery sandwich than the same sandwich I've had twice before and was not especially fond of either time.
If true, and it wouldn't surprise me, this is pretty much Obama conducting an end run around the 22nd Amendment to seek a third and fourth term. If the speculation is also true, it's an openly racist position. Well, ok, a secretly racist position since he's not admitting it publicly, but you know what I mean.
And when you think about it, if Biden isn't even independent enough to pick his own VP, we're really talking about Obama's third, fourth, and fifth terms.
For someone who has to win elections, that's an awful lot of confidence in election results, if you believe the elections aren't rigged.
I'm not sure the recent uptick in gun sales is what I would call panic buying exactly. Yes, it's almost certainly in response to talk of gun control, and there are some people in there who are deciding they want their first firearm, or their first AR-15, or their first handgun with a magazine holding more than 10 rounds... but there have been enough calls for gun control in Obama's second term that did not go very far nationally that I doubt panic is really being felt.
I think it's more about anger at this point. We know the media won't let us express our anger on the topic of gun control without trying to twist it into something that sounds threatening or violent, we know that our politicians mostly aren't listening. We know that there are all sorts of threats out there, from tyrants to terrorists to migrant gangs of criminals, and the leader of our country is asking us to please lie down politely and wait to get killed while he air-drops 50 tons of ammunition to Islamists, negotiates nukes for Iran, and lets Russia take over the middle east.
I think people are responding to these almost-unceasing calls for more and more gun control with a very solid, very real response the only way they can be sure it will be heard: "Fuck you, I'm buying a(nother) gun."
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go shopping.
Climate activists want political opponents in jail
This sort of thing is a leading indicator that our nation is becoming a totalitarian police state. When you aren't allowed to disagree with the current scientific "consensus" (however falsely derived that consensus may be), on pain of a criminal investigation, you are no longer living in a free society. But the environmentalists do not care about a free society; they care that you do what they tell you.
It looks like DC courts struck down one-gun-a-month laws, a personal appearance requirement, a re-registration requirement, and a firearms law test. Those are all policies that are inconsistent with a right to keep and bear arms. The court upheld registration requirements regardless of firearm type (ie, rifles and shotguns as well as pistols), fingerprinting, photographing, paying fees, and a firearms safety training course.
I can understand upholding the registration requirements from a consistency perspective. Registration either violates the 2nd Amendment right or it does not, and handgun registration has passed muster for now (whether I like it or not). Fingerprinting and photographing seems excessive, but is required for many concealed-carry licenses so has some unfortunate precedent. Fees are another one of those potentially-abusive-but-hard-to-argue-with policies. A firearms safety course requirement is something that makes sense as an idea but not as a government requirement, but again, hard to argue with until abused.