IRS to start notifying victims of social security fraud
Note that what they don't say is even more important than what they do say.
The problem is that people in the country illegally use illegally-obtained social security numbers to (fraudulently) prove their work authorization, and then file their taxes using Taxpayer Identification Numbers.
The IRS is making this announcement most likely because existing federal law requires disclosure of identity theft incidents; other organizations and agencies routinely disclose such incidents and usually offer identity protection services for a period of time after the incident. This is what the IRS is saying they will start doing. It's an improvement.
What they are not doing, and should be, is notifying the employers that the social security number used to obtain the job was fraudulent.
I was never a big fan of Cruz's just-announced VP pick, but as a VP at least some of my concerns are ameliorated. I see the motivations here as being twofold: to change the subject from Tuesday's election results, and to attract California voters who Cruz desperately needs. (California being where Fiorina ran for Senate and won the Republican primary). Neither motive really impresses me much. Fiorina lost the general election for Senate and doesn't bring much else to the ticket aside from generally compatible policies.
That said, I don't have any real objections. Rand Paul is probably more useful in the Senate. Rubio or Kasich would be too establishment. Carson already endorsed Trump. Scott Walker might have been a good choice, but can't bring California delegates in the primary when Cruz needs them. Of such compromises are presidents sometimes made and legacies sometimes lost.
Apparently, the vote was unanimous (with 14 abstentions).
This likely means that some sort of deal has already been struck in the Senate. Before you celebrate, though, that "deal" could very well be that the Senate will gut the bill, or just drop it on the floor, or even that Obama will pocket-veto it on his way out the door. When both parties in Congress are unanimous, it means that we, the people, are the mark.
I think Cruz would do an excellent job in Scalia's seat, but I'm skeptical about whether Trump would keep a promise to nominate him and even more skeptical that the Senate would be willing to confirm him, given the (frankly undeserved) antipathy even members of Cruz's own party have demonstrated.
I don't think Cruz should drop out in return for this promise, but if Trump made the promise absent any quid pro quo it would go a long ways towards making me feel better about Trump as a candidate.
Remind me which party has the majority in the Senate again?
Because at times like this, I really can't remember.
The fact is, if you have to subsidize something, it isn't a success. Windmills are not reliable producers of energy -- both because the wind doesn't always blow and because the windmills break down. That means you need much more backup capacity to ensure a steady supply of energy. And it means the windmills are not cost effective. Not even close.
I believe I've seen the details of this report in some of the later documentaries about the Waco massacre, but David Hardy brings a personal anecdote about the reaction of the Congressional staffers to his report.
If I was a conspiracy minded man, I'd wonder about that heart attack.
Colorado Democrats block repeal of standard capacity magazine ban
It's always easier to block something from passing than it is to repeal it once passed. That's one reason among many that we tell our legislators not to "compromise", with the only major exception that turned out well for us being the assault weapons ban sunset date.
Secret courts denying fundamental constitutional rights without any semblance of due process. This isn't just a 2nd Amendment issue; this legislation impacts the 4th and 5th amendments directly and chills the 1st.
Clinton server admin cooperates with DOJ but declines to testify to Congress
This is becoming a trend. Lerner did it, and now Clinton's IT guy. The legality is questionable -- normally if you accept an immunity deal you can be compelled to testify -- but a bigger question is why these individuals would consider the FBI a friendlier audience than Congress.
As usual, the proposals range from completely ineffective to absolute BS. But that's OK, because the motive for the anti-gun crowd isn't actually to stop mass murders.
The proposals include licensing requirements for people who complete their own firearms, a ban on mail-ordering ammunition, a lost-or-stolen reporting requirement that will punish honest gun owners for being victimized by criminals, banning magazine-fed semi-auto firearms even harder since the first ban didn't stop people, and a bill forbidding possession of normal-capacity magazines including those previously owned.
While I was writing this post, I was thinking to myself: there are reasons I won't live in California. And it's not really hard to expand that list to other states. Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, the obvious ones, and then there are a few on the list that might be tolerable but I'd have to read the laws carefully and consider whether I could put up with them or whether living in the state would be an unacceptable risk of being thrown in jail for having a firearm the government did not like.
And that led inexorably to the idea that gun control is a political filter. Not in the usual sense, where voters decide who to vote for based on the issue, but where politicians write laws that determine whether their political opponents are willing to tolerate living in their jurisdiction.
I have to suspect that laws like this are a major factor in turning certain states deep blue. The more gun control that California or New York pass, the more they drive gun owners out of the state. And even though they are pissing off voters rather than serving voters, they are also increasing their own reelection chances by essentially threatening people with jail time for remaining in their states.
That's why a robust 2nd Amendment is vital. It protects us from this kind of political extortion.
Obama promised the same thing, and he delivered. But do we really want candidates for President promising to put companies out of business? Do we really want to accept the lost jobs and the lost energy source? What will we replace those jobs and that energy with, and how will we pay for the new power plants?
Virginia governor allows felons to vote by executive order
Doing this by executive order seems problematic, but if framed as a use of the pardon power (I assume the Virginia governor has such a power) than it might perhaps be legal. Still, felons in general are probably not the best voters. It is certainly preferably to have a process for restoration of rights (including firearms rights) in place, but it also seems appropriate to consider each case individually to examine whether they have become a responsible member of society or continued their life of crime.
The political motivations for this move are obvious: transforming the electorate into one that can elect Hillary Clinton president.