Haley has no credibility now

USA TodayIn responding to the State of the Union address, Haley turned in a flawless performance.

She knows how to thread a needle. She defended legal immigrants by asserting that "no one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country" while stressing the importance of protecting our borders and "stopping illegal immigration."

... while the Spanish translation of her remarks promised amnesty. It amazes me that the people running the party think we are stupid enough to accept this sort of deceptive BS from a candidate.

Sat Jan 30 12:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senator Mikulski doesn't want to hear about constitutional rights

Daily CallerMaryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski said at a Senate hearing Wednesday that she wanted to avoid getting “involved in constitutional arguments.” The only problem is that the hearing in question dealt with President Obama’s recent executive actions on guns, which many believe infringes on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

It amazes me that politicians can say this sort of thing and not have it come back to throw them out of their seat at the next election. It's their job to get involved in Constitutional arguments.

Sat Jan 30 11:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Allegation: Waco police made no effort to aid injured in motorcycle meet shooting

Dallas ObserverWilson begins by telling how Jake Rhyne, one of seven Cossacks killed that day, lay bleeding for 30 to 45 minutes without receiving medical attention. Wilson wanted to help, and he recounts his conversation with a Waco police officer

There should be enough witnesses and video to confirm what he is claiming, and if it can be confirmed, there should be charges brought against the police. It's one thing to shoot someone -- even several someones -- because you thought they presented a danger to you. Even if you found out shortly after that that you were wrong. That can be an honest mistake, and should carry consequences, but may not amount to murder.

It's quite another thing to then let that person die in order to avoid being sued for your mistake. That particular tactic is absolutely disgusting and should be grounds for murder charges in itself. (Proving it would be a challenge, but in the day of omnipresence video recordings, proof is beginning to become a possibility). And this is far from the first time I've read reports that it happened. Letting people die is not an acceptable police tactic.

Sat Jan 30 10:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI stopping NICS appeals?

Funny, I don't recall Obama mentioning that the FBI would stop processing NICS appeals in his list of executive actions. But if they do, I think this is something we can sue on and win. Denial of a fundamental right without due process seems like something even the recently cowardly Supreme Court could handle.

Sat Jan 30 09:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Trump win or lose by leaving the debate stage?

Gateway PunditThursday night’s Trump-less Republican presidential debate on FOX News Channel scored 12.5 million viewers, making it the second-highest rated telecast in the network’s history.

Lots of people are saying the telecast was a Big Success without Trump. Other people are saying that they lost half their viewers compared to the first Republican debate this year. Who's right? Well, technically both claims are true; it's a question of which spin the speaker is trying to put on the information. Let's look at the actual context. For the purposes of this post I'm going to trust the Wikipedia numbers:

1) 24 million
2) 23 million
3) 14 million
4) 13.5 million
5) 18 million
6) 11.1 million
7) 12.5 million

OK, so the first debate numbers to the last debate numbers did drop by almost half. But they did that over the course of 7 debates. The big drop occurred after the 2nd debate (9 million fewer people tuned in for the 3rd debate than the 2nd debate). Debate 5 was an outlier that jumped back up; 6 and 7 were consistent with most of the previous results. If anything, Trump's absence slightly reversed a downwards trend. We can only guess at causation for those numbers, of course, but viewer count was trending mostly down with a small blip up for the last debate (and a much larger blip up for debate 5).

So, if your measure of winning or losing is how many people watched compared to previous debates, or the trend of people watching with or without Trump, Trump lost. About the same number of people showed up as had been showing up before. And maybe a few more showed up because Trump wasn't there. Maybe.

I'll note that a declining trend is common for situations like this. People lose interest in watching the same group of (frankly, mostly boring) people say basically the same things on basically the same topics over and over. For most people, you watch until you make up your mind, but only political junkies keep tuning in for 6 or 7 debates (remember, that's probably 20-30 hours of programming if you count the mini-dates too).

So the declining interest is normal, and in context with the other debate numbers, removing Trump from the debates didn't move the needle much.

I don't have numbers for Trump's competing event in front of me. I've seen reports that he did not match or beat the debate numbers, but (right now) I have no idea if it was by a lot or a little or just not yet confirmed. We'll see, or I'll find numbers before I post...

UPDATE: The veteran's nonprofit involved appears to be an Establishment astroturf operation.

Fri Jan 29 20:50:24 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Anti-gun democrat accused of opening fire with AR-15 at ex-wife

Ammoland“Smith, who served three years in the state House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, is accused of opening fire with an AR-15 in the direction of his ex-wife, Anistia Thomas, and her Mercedes about 1 a.m. May 10,”

Sordid soap opera details aside, what’s of note for gun rights advocates is that Smith has a record of hostility to their concerns. Per Project Vote Smart, he was rated “D” by the NRA’s Political Victory Fund, and “was rated 0% by Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners.”

As someone is fond of asking, why are anti-gun politicians so violent?

Fri Jan 29 12:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Constitutional carry legislation in Tennessee

Worth supporting, but there are probably reasons politicians prefer to have lists of names they can send mail to.

Fri Jan 29 11:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Blaming criminal activity on ... social media?

BreitbartChicago’s interim police superintendent John Escalante is struggling to explain the wild jump in shootings in the Windy City, and he thinks he has at least part of the explanation: it’s social media’s fault.

If he's referring to stuff like BlackLivesMatter increasing tensions between police and certain segments of the community, maybe he has a point. Especially if those tensions result in decreased police presence and investigation. But really, this is Chicago we're talking about here. The city has a problem even if you take social media out of the picture completely.

Fri Jan 29 10:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS erases another hard drive under court preservation order

Americans for Tax ReformThe IRS erased a hard drive belonging to a former top employee involved in the agency’s controversial, taxpayer-funded hiring of elite trial law firm Quinn Emanuel.

Although there was a court preservation order on all documents related to the IRS hiring of the outside firm, the hard drive was erased anyway. The order was borne of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by Microsoft.

If this was a novel, people would call it implausible. Apparently the IRS feels it can ignore the courts.

Fri Jan 29 09:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Just a note

Bill Quick at Daily Pundit has been pretty much all Trump all the time for the past few months. Fair enough; clearly the man knows where he stands and there are a number of points we agree on. However, a lot of his posts have the following quality to them lately:

Bill QuickBetting markets predicting a solid Iowa win for Trump.
Polling averages predicting a solid Iowa win for Trump.
538 models both now predicting a solid Iowa win for Trump.
TDS sufferers predicting it’s all meaningless, and Ted Cruz (or somebody, anybody, else) will blow Trump away. Because magic.

He may be right. Trump may win Iowa. Trump may win the nomination, and Trump may win the presidency. I don't know. The polls do suggest Trump has a pretty good chance of doing at least the first and maybe the second. (We're way too far ahead to predict the third).

But I don't pick the candidates I support based on who I think will win. I pick the candidates I support based on their positions on issues, what I think they will do in office, and whether I can trust them to follow through on their promises competently. Popularity has little to do with it, and polls even less. I pick the candidate I think would be the best President, and I do my damnedest to make sure they win.

The endless poll following is not persuasive and is getting a bit tiresome.

Thu Jan 28 22:32:01 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

State Dept forgot to send Hillary emails to other agencies for review

Washington TimesThough they’ve been working on the emails for more than a year, State Department officials said they only realized three weeks ago that they still had thousands of emails marked for review by other agencies — but had forgotten to send them out.


Did the person who said that say it under penalty of perjury?

Thu Jan 28 22:17:48 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Interesting bits from the debate

If you're not interested in the Republican primary debate, don't click the Read More button now.

(Read More...)

Thu Jan 28 22:00:45 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FOX debate executive's daughter is working for Rubio's campaign

Daily PunditLewandowski revealed two things for the first time: that the executive he was discussing matters with was Bill Sammon, and that Sammon’s daughter Brooke Sammon works for Rubio’s campaign, giving the first-term Floridian Senator an obvious boost. That blatant conflict of interest has never before been disclosed to the viewers of Fox News by the network.

That does seem like a problem, and not a made-up one.

Thu Jan 28 21:37:28 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Garbage In Garbage Out

InstapunditWELL, WHY WOULD IT BE? Camille Paglia psychoanalyzes Hillary Clinton and it’s not very pretty.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Thu Jan 28 21:34:01 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Indoctrination in schools

The College FixA teacher at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro requires students in her class to write an 8-page commitment to social justice — pupils who take her class because it’s a required course to earn a K-12 teaching credential. Zilonka’s syllabus also tells students to Like on Facebook a slate of secular-progressive pages, such as the pro-LGBTQ Human Rights Campaign, Feministing, Million Hoodies for Justice, and the Brown Girl Collective.

Ever wonder why students in the public education system always come out of it like good little marxists?

Thu Jan 28 12:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Study on genetically-modified crops being investigated for faked data

NaturePapers that describe harmful effects to animals fed genetically modified (GM) crops are under scrutiny for alleged data manipulation. The leaked findings of an ongoing investigation at the University of Naples in Italy suggest that images in the papers may have been intentionally altered. The leader of the lab that carried out the work there says that there is no substance to this claim.

The left has co-opted science to serve their political causes. Until scientists rediscover the importance of honesty and ethics, science as a whole will continue to lose credibility. Which is a shame, because science done properly is extremely useful and important.

Thu Jan 28 11:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


PJMediaOver a decade ago, the New York Post’s Ryan Sager published a blockbuster story, showing that “campaign finance reform has been an immense scam perpetrated…by a cadre of left-wing foundations and disguised as a “mass movement.” Based on the astonishing testimony of Sean Treglia, who ran the campaign finance reform effort for Pew Trusts, Sager reported that…

…Treglia came up with a three-pronged strategy: 1) pursue an expansive agenda through incremental reforms, 2) pay for a handful of “experts” all over the country with foundation money and 3) create fake business, minority and religious groups to pound the table for reform.

They are still doing it. In the gun control debate we call it astroturf -- fake grass roots. They do it, ironically, on campaign finance reform. They do it on illegal immigration. The unions do it with paid protesters and picket lines. Planned Parenthood does it on abortion funding. It was practically the whole reason that ACORN existed.

The left funds their activism organizations through government and infiltrates their operatives into media organizations. Other activists extort funds for their political activities through pressuring corporations for donations, sometimes with the Justice Department and other regulators as active partners.

The main takeaway is that for many on the left, politics is their job. Those of us on the right who prefer limited government have to maintain real jobs and advocate on our own time.

Thu Jan 28 10:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Supreme Court to hear executive amnesty case

PoliticoThe Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will take up a case challenging the legality of President Barack Obama's executive actions aimed at granting quasi-legal status and work permits to up to 5 million people who entered the U.S. illegally as children or who have children who are American citizens.

It's unclear from the article if the Supreme Court will hear the appeal of the injunction itself or the merits of the case, but it seems like the merits. And presidential spokespuppy John Earnest seems to be very excited by the decision, meaning that Obama plans to pull out his blackmail pen to ensure the ruling goes his way.

Even if it does, the decision will only be in place for about 6 months. After that, there will be a new president who can reverse it. A Republican president might, a Democrat almost certainly won't. So Obama will push as hard as he can to get as many people through this program as possible, but with only 6 months to work with, he's not likely to be able to make a tremendous impact even if the Supreme Court legitimatizes his overreach...

... unless he's ordered the appropriate agencies to ignore the court order and proceed to make preparations in the year or so since the injunction.

Thu Jan 28 09:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IG upgrades clearance to read Clinton emails

The IG investigating Clinton's private email server had to get his clearance upgraded to read her emails. Several dozen emails were classified special-access-program.

It's going to be hard to argue that the information was properly handled now.

Wed Jan 27 12:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Questioning Answers

Bayou Renaissance ManWhy is there always one gun more than there are gun cases/sleeves/rugs to hold them?

That's the one that belongs in your holster or slung over your shoulder.

Bayou Renaissance ManWhy, when I drove my ammunition stocks down to Texas a few weeks ago, am I still finding ammo in odd corners, drawers, nooks and crannies? I've found enough to fill two ammo cans so far. No, of course I'm not a compulsive ammo hoarder! Why would you think that? (Hangs head, shuffles feet.)

When two cartridges of different calibers are stored in the same drawer for long enough, they breed, and the children leave the nest...

Bayou Renaissance ManWhat do you do with a cat that's growing steadily more paranoid as she watches her world being packed into boxes? We're trying to reassure her by giving her lots of extra attention (and treats), but she seems unconvinced.

And she's RIGHT! You are about to turn her world upside down! Take her concerns seriously. Sit down with her and explain that you are moving, that all the boxes with her stuff in it will be in the new house, and that everything will be ok. She will look at you and meow, and you will feel better. Eventually.

Bayou Renaissance ManI must remember not to assemble plastic shelving units too forcefully. When I have to take them apart again, all those blows with a rubber mallet (to make sure they stayed fastened together) come back to bite me. This is not good.

Are you sure that's not the cat?

Wed Jan 27 12:03:43 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kent State professor investigated for alleged link to ISIS

WKYCThe FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are investigating Julio Pino, a Kent State associate history professor, for his alleged involvement with the Islamic State

Warning, autoplay video at the link above.

The professor was allegedly trying to recruit students, and has a history of interrupting speeches on campus by shouting "Death to Israel." He sounds like such a wonderful, peaceful person.

Wed Jan 27 11:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Turn back order confirmed

PJMedia“Those individuals I know loaded aircraft and got on their way to Benghazi to respond to that incident. They were not allowed to cross the border as per protocol until they got approval from the commander in chief,” Wood explained. “That authority has to come from him or they’re not allowed to enter the country.”

Attkisson told Malzberg, “This is something that the president and the White House has steadfastly denied, but there’s now what I would call an overwhelming body of evidence that leads us to believe that somebody stopped a number of teams and potential rescuers from entering Libya or going to Benghazi to help while those attacks were underway.”

“They could have gotten there before the last two Americans died,” Attkisson noted. “Those attacks went on for eight hours.”

Call it a failure of president nerve.

Wed Jan 27 10:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Half a million illegal visa overstays in 2015 alone

Gateway PunditDHS just released a report detailing a finding that boggles the mind. In just one category of temporary visa – the B visa (for business workers and tourists) – 527,127 aliens overstayed their visas in 2015 alone; of those illegal overstays, 482,781 were still believed to be illegally present in the United States at the end of FY 2015. Again: this is just from the B-visa, and does not include the F-1 student visa or the multiple H and L foreign worker visas, or the J-1 exchange visa, or the millions of visa waiver recipients, etc

Almost 4000 of them from nations with significant terrorist activity, and that's just one type of visa in one year. The scale of this problem is huge.

The immigration debate really separates into two questions:
1) What should our immigration laws be?
2) Should we enforce our immigration laws at all?

There's basically no point debating the first point until we decide to answer the second one.

Wed Jan 27 09:13:37 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bundy arrested, shots fired...

Daily MailThe leader of the militia group occupying a government building in Oregon has been arrested, reports claim.

Ammon Bundy and eight other militiamen were detained by the FBI on Tuesday evening after shots were fired during a traffic stop as they headed to a community meeting nearby, according to KATU.

It is not clear who opened fire first.

How do we know the police shot first? The article doesn't say anyone died UPDATE: One person was died and another wounded, but if the protesters were planning to shoot first they would all be dead.

On a more serious note, I'm glad the absurd "occupy national park" scenario is over, with minimal loss of life. I hope the police were all wearing body cameras during that traffic stop, though, because I am pretty damn sure it was one of those "random" traffic stops like the ones the NSA tells the DEA to make.

PattericoAs articulated, that’s a rather thin justification for shooting someone. Was he armed? Did he point a gun? Did he appear to be reaching for a gun? Were there any body cameras?

I assume we’ll be hearing more about this. Law enforcement knew they were dealing with a group of people that had members who declared they were armed and prepared for a shootout if necessary. Still (unless only #BlackLivesMatter), mere disobedience of orders and resisting arrest is generally thought to be insufficient, without more, to justify shooting and killing someone.

Patterico is also curious, and as a prosecutor, he has some expertise in these matters. I can understand that an arrest like this would be a very tense situation. But I find it interesting that police aren't reporting that the people they arrested were armed, and that there are claims the person killed (and also the one injured) was cooperating.

I'm not prepared to say this was an execution, but I'd like to see body camera and dash camera footage if it is available.

Wed Jan 27 07:23:32 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Well, that's an interesting outcome

Dallas NewsA grand jury in Harris County, tasked with investigating Planned Parenthood’s Houston affiliate following the August release of an undercover video taken inside the clinic, cleared the organization of misconduct Monday, and instead indicted the group behind the video.

I would have expected this from the Travis county prosecutors, who have an existing reputation as political lunatics who abuse their office. I have no idea how often a grand jury brings charges against someone the prosecutor did not intend, but given the common example of indicting a ham sandwich, I suspect it's not often and this outcome was the intended result no matter how much claimed surprise is involved.

And it seems my suspicions were well grounded:

Dana at Patterico's Pontifications Lauren Reeder, one of the prosecutors in the Harris County district attorney’s office, revealed last August that she was a member of the board of directors for the Planned Parenthood affiliate that was targeted by Daleiden. Reeder’s LinkedIn page indicates that she has been a Planned Parenthood board member since 2013 and a fundraiser for the abortion provider since 2009.

That strikes me as an excellent explanation for the outcome, as well as a potential ethics problem.

There are solid First Amendment arguments against charging journalists who conduct undercover investigations, of course. But even if the charges are thrown out during a trial, there's a definite chilling effect on conservative advocacy journalism.

Wed Jan 27 07:19:11 CST 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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