I suppose they figured that if the IRS and the State Department can get away with it, so can they. And as it turns out, the IRS has been getting away with it more than once. In addition to the 20-30 IRS employees related to the Tea Party targeting scandal whose data was not available to investigators for a variety of reasons related to computer failures of one kind or another, the IRS recently destroyed a hard drive under a preservation order in a different case:
This sort of thing looks very much like a pattern of criminal behavior at this point.
He seems determined to avoid releasing them now that he's effectively unopposed. I don't think he will be able to get away with that in the general election; either the media will force him to release the returns or they will be leaked. I also think that's (mostly) appropriate for people seeking public office. It allows the public a view into the candidate's financial behavior which their public claims can be measured against, especially when a political voting record does not exist.
Between this issue and the Trump University lawsuit, things are going to get very messy for Trump as we get closer to the general election. The media will take off the gloves when dealing with him.
The unexpected release of new and damaging information after the primary campaigns have finished is about the only way that a palace coup by the party at the convention could be justified. The only other reason for such a thing by the party elites that I would consider justifiable would be a felony indictment.
How crazy is it that we may well see both this year?
Journalists should report on details of all candidates
Some people are complaining about this statement from Bezos, claiming it shows bias. I think the bias is in the mind of the reader in this case; Bezos' own words don't single out Trump and refers to both parties. In my experience, Bezos seems to be more libertarianish than most tech companies (who usually tend to lean strongly left), and since he bought the Post his direction seems to have improved the paper.
Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on Koskinen misconduct
I firmly believe that the only effective way to remedy Koskinen's obvious and egregious misconduct would have been to impeach him immediately and remove him from office. At this late date, any attempted remedy will be overshadowed by the fact that he got away with his primary goal: covering up a scandal that likely lead to the White House, and preventing the perpetrators from facing punishment. In light of that failure, even impeachment as the president he protected leaves office is essentially a meaningless gesture.
The House, however, is unlikely to even seriously consider impeachment. The most we are likely to see is a motion to censure. That's little more than a slap on the wrist that carries embarrassment but no real consequences.
Nothing less than a blatant attempt to criminalize disagreeing with Democrats
There's not really anything that can be said about this that I haven't said already in other posts about similar efforts. Trying to criminalize disagreement is the last refuge of politicians in power who are losing the argument, not to mention a violation of basic human rights. We used to cherish the idea that we were not governed like a totalitarian dictatorship, and that dissenters could speak freely without fear of serving time in prison for their dissent. How much longer can that possibly last with these coordinated efforts underway?
I will say this: each time I see one of these stories, I get a little more willing to toss principle aside and work to elect people who will use the same tactics back. Not forever... just enough to teach the lesson.
Patterico explains the lower court ruling. In short, Obama has been spending money Congress has not appropriated to prop up the insurance companies offering plans under Obamacare, violating the Congressional power of the purse. The ruling is stayed pending appeal, and unfortunately the DC circuit is packed with Obama appointees and the Supreme Court is likely to vote 4-3 in Obama's favor on this one (I'm assuming Roberts will wilt as per usual, and of course Scalia is gone).
If the courts will not enforce even the most basic and fundamental provisions of the Constitution in the face of a tyrannical executive, then our Republic is dead. I hope we aren't yet that far gone, but I can see little reason to hope for a correct ruling from the thoroughly politicized Supreme Court.
A pilot says he could have flown to the site before the attack ended, but he was told they were waiting on a call. Another source says there were opportunities to kill or capture the people responsible, but the political decision was made to hold off: It was political, Mike says, adding I read the emails, I read the emails where they were saying, hey, we cant do this now nows not the right time.
Assuming the story is accurate, "Mike" is saying he saw emails that the Benghazi committee has not seen. That would be prima facie evidence of a coverup and a violation of Congressional subpoenas. He is also alleging what amounts to witness intimidation.
Worst of all, the one terrorist captured and preparing to stand trial is allegedly a minor player, and the leaders have essentially escaped punishment due to the political paralysis.
One of the people ultimately responsible for the fiasco of the response that night and the failure to bring the terrorists to account afterwards is in the White House and will escape punishment. The other is running for President.
There are two kinds of people in the Republican party...
People who believe in Trump's promises despite the copious evidence that he's lying through his teeth, and people who have never bought a bridge in Brooklyn.
This is, I think, what it fundamentally comes down to. Like Obama, Trump is a figure on which certain parts of the Republican base (and yes, some crossover Democrats who feel abandoned by their party) can project their own positions and desires. Obama gave us fantastical promises to turn back the rising tide and avoided specific policy questions that might divide his supporters. Trump is careful to take three different positions on every policy issue before breakfast, and his supporters just choose to believe the one they like.
I'm simply not that credulous.
Trump can earn my vote in November if he makes specific, concrete promises as to the actions he will take in office, if those promises are good enough. Promising to appoint Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court would be a good start. But he needs to make those promises in a way that shows he means to keep them; no bluster, no backtracking, no showmanship. Solemn, serious promises.
If Trump can show me that supporting him will benefit the cause of liberty and smaller, Constitutional government in some concrete, long-term way, I'm willing to consider giving him my vote.
But I don't think he can, because I don't think he wants to.
And note well, Trump supporters: I will not be convinced by appeals to emotion, by appeals to party unity, or by appeals to any of the many various and contradictory promises Trump has made that convinced you. Trump's fundamental problem with voters like me is not that we haven't heard about his promise to do this or his promise to do that. It's that we don't believe him.
Exactly the same thing has been going on in American government, mostly uninterrupted, since the 1960s changed the immigration policy. We have been dealing with the consequences of that deliberate decision by the elites of both parties to change the electorate ever since. That's why the open borders policies continue regardless of which party is in power; the only people who want to close the borders are the ordinary folk who generally can't afford to run for office.
It remains to be seen whether Trump is going to close the borders (as he promised to do) or betray the people who thought they had finally found a champion.
Hillary, of course, will do her best to ram permanent amnesty through Congress.
We will have a choice in November between a giant golden question mark and a woman whose corruption and incompetence are already legendary and who may well become the first felon to ever be elected president. The alternatives are a palace coup by the party elite on the Republican side and an open socialist on the Democrat side.
The goal is to make it impossible to make a living in the firearms industry. If the antis can't manage that, they will do their best to shut down new gun stores on the theory that they can at least keep us from gaining ground. It's an abuse of power, but there's nothing new about that in Democrat-run cities. It's too late to attend the hearing, which was held with no notice because "fair play" isn't in their anti-gun vocabulary.
Individuals matter. Individual rights, and individual responsibilities. People can meet those responsibilities or not. That's going to happen anyway, because that's how reality works. Submerging your identity into the group around you and allowing the group identity to take precedence over your own is basically an admission that not only do you think you can't manage on your own, but that you are unwilling even to try.
I suspected this was going on, and it's one reason (among many) I don't use Facebook. I'm not willing to trust someone else to "curate" news for me; that's why I use tools that let me pick my own sources to trust and evaluate what I see for myself.
I think there's a market opportunity here for someone who's willing to not curate news, or at least curate it honestly.
... yes, they are already doing it, just based on topics and news sources rather than specific candidates. This is a big reason not to use Facebook, or any site that attempts to "curate" what people see based on anything other than the user's specific choices and input. For a site like Facebook, the only trustworthy way to run the algorithm is simple: what you subscribe to is what you see. The moment you start trying to adjust your user's moods, or encourage them to vote (or not to vote), or hide things from them they want to see, or show them things they don't want to see, you lose the trust of the users as soon as they notice.
That's why this sort of manipulation has to be done in secret.