Obamaphone fraud concealed until after vote to expand program

Free BeaconFederal regulators were instructed to keep a massive fraud investigation under wraps until a day after a controversial vote to expand a program that was allegedly used to bilk taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars, one those regulators claims.

The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced that it would seek $51 million in damages from a cell phone company that allegedly defrauded the federal Lifeline program of nearly $10 million.

It's a racket. It always was.

Wed Apr 19 10:56:28 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Female Genital Mutilation in the United States

Horrifying. This is the "diversity" the left wants to celebrate. I could care less about someone's skin color, but culture and assimilation matter. That includes those ethnic enclaves within the US that keep their members trapped in a cycle of poverty and violence.

UPDATE: More arrests.

Wed Apr 19 09:56:28 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

EPIC files suit demanding Trump's tax returns

The HillA privacy group is suing the IRS for not disclosing President Trump's tax returns.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Saturday, as rallies around the country were set to take place calling on Trump to release his tax returns.

I used to respect EPIC. The irony of a privacy group trying to use FOIA to extract individual income tax records from the IRS is just embarrassing. Presidents releasing their tax records has always been a voluntary thing driven by campaign pressure. Trump chose not to release his records and won anyway. End of story.

Tue Apr 18 09:53:26 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The UK did in fact meddle in the US election

Don SurberBritain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.

GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.

Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.

Note that after listening to the Trump campaign for roughly 2 years, no one has been charged with a crime. That makes the idea of a legitimate basis for the surveillance something to be viewed with skepticism. The timing is also suspicious, going all the way back to the beginning of the primaries. We don't know if this was initiated by GCHQ (British signals intelligence) or if Obama went to them to ask for it. But we can be pretty sure it was improper, since it continued for that long without charges, and since Susan Rice and GCHQ both flatly denied it before being exposed. Don't forget the head of GCHQ resigned shortly after Trump's election.

We also know it wasn't just the UK; Germany, Estonia, and Poland also participated, along with possibly the Dutch, Australians, and French. Note also that the same people in GCHQ who were spying on Trump have also been claiming the Brexit vote was "hacked" by the Russians.

It appears that the Trump campaign was dealing with a full court press from the international Deep State trying to sink his candidacy from the very beginning.

Remember, if there was any real substance to any of this, we would have seen either charges or leaks. Instead, we've seen the FBI promising to pay for "50 shades of Trump" erotic fiction and complaints that his transition team talked to foreign ambassadors.

Sun Apr 16 11:31:04 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lerner wants her testimony sealed in IRS case

Washington TimesFormer IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner told a federal court this week that she faces the possibility of death threats if her role in the tax agency’s tea party-targeting becomes public, and asked a judge to forever seal her upcoming deposition in a class-action lawsuit brought by hundreds of groups that were targeted.

Mr. Lerner and Holly Paz, another figure from the IRS tea party targeting, told the judge they’ve already faced “harassment and death threats” before, and said they fear another media firestorm if their version of events from the tea party targeting were to become public.

The public has a right to know what happened, whether and how these defendants abused their public office. If people do not like what they hear, well, death threats are obviously out of bounds but it's understandable that people would be angry. Lerner, Paz, and anyone else involved should have to face a public with full knowledge of what happened.

And by the way... if you were a defendant in a case like this, with extensive media attention, and you were concerned that the public would be angry with you even though you did nothing wrong, wouldn't you want them to get the whole story?

Lerner and her colleagues apparently feel that their own testimony would make the public angrier. Why is that?

Sun Apr 16 10:31:04 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Alleged Fast and Furious murderer apprehended

PJMediaIt's been seven long years, but the alleged triggerman suspected of shooting and killing Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010 with a U.S. government-supplied gun, was apprehended in Mexico Wednesday.

The suspect, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, allegedly used a gun from Operation Fast and Furious, the gun-running scheme set up under then-Attorney General Eric Holder. Under Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area gun shops with the purported intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico.

Instead, the ATF managed to "lose track" of more than 1,400 out of the 2,000 guns they allowed smugglers to buy, leading to deadly consequences on both sides of the border. Coincidentally, the firearms that Holder’s Department of Justice allowed to walk into Mexico were the very same types of guns Obama, Holder, and Clinton publicly spoke about wanting to ban.

This corrupt, callous, criminal operation should have put an end to the prospects of the gun control movement in America for generations.

Sun Apr 16 09:31:04 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The problem with the media today

First, some background. Years ago, a girl claimed she was gang-raped by a fraternity at UVA, blown off by the Dean of the school, and got an article published in Rolling Stone about it. Then the alleged rape was proven to have never occurred, and the evidence suggests the accuser made up the whole thing to make a guy jealous. The reporter who wrote the story, and her publisher, were sued for demation by the fraternity and the Dean. In a story about the publication settling with the Dean, the reporter is quoted as saying:

Watchdog“This experience has been devastating to me, both professionally and personally. Never in my 20-plus years as a reporter have I had a story or a source fall apart on me after publication,” Erdely said. “After feeling so sure about the article, and believing so strongly that it would help spur change on college campuses, losing faith in the credibility of one of my major sources post-publication took me entirely by surprise. I was stunned and shaken by the experience, and remain so to this day.”

There's a lot wrong with this story, but the thing I want to comment on here is that the reporter thinks her job is not reporting accurately about true events but rather helping spur change on college campuses.

There's evidence that some of the people involved in the story had political connections and were planning to push legislation related to the story. And the reporter quoted above appears to have had issues with the truth in at least two other articles involving rape.

It appears that the reporter's job title should be propagandist instead. And that's the role that many in the media play, wittingly or unwittingly, due to their personal biases and their desire to "spur change" regardless of the truth.

Sat Apr 15 11:47:48 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House investigation of Susan Rice surveillance expanding

The FBI is still not cooperating, but leaks have begun appearing that identify the alleged target of the FISA warrant.

Notably, Congress is threatening not to approve the surveillance program that allows the FBI to do this at all if the FBI doesn't cooperate. I say go for it.

Sat Apr 15 10:47:48 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

UK terrorist had ties to mosque

PJMediaThe Sunday Times has revealed that last month's Westminster terror killer, who murdered five and injured another forty-nine more victims, was a senior official at a known extremist hub, the Luton Islamic Centre.
It does not appear that the Luton Islamic Centre invested as much time confronting extremism and radicalization under its own roof as it did confronting anti-terror efforts outside of it. Further, based on the evidence provided by The Sunday Times, the mosque has been actively promoting extremism and radicalization.

Having multiple terrorists involved in leadership in the same mosque will undoubtedly raise the thorny issue of mosque surveillance. In the wake of recent terror attacks, both France and Germany have closed extremist mosques.

Islamic society uses mosques to export terror the way that foreign nations use embassies to export their intelligence gathering operations. The traditions of Western civilization regarding religion -- freedom of, peaceful tolerance of -- do not apply to Islam in its violent form. The sooner we recognize that and respond to it, the better off we will be in the end.

Sat Apr 15 09:47:48 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House GOP committee requests AG Sessions to reopen Lerner investigation

TaxProfTaxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics. Again, I respectfully request that the Department of Justice to take a fresh look at the evidence presented in the attached referral in order to assure the American people that DOJ’s prior investigation was handled fairly and to restore taxpayers’ trust in the IRS.

So far, the Trump Administration has shown no desire to go after the IRS in any form. The House seems determined to press the issue, what with the letter to AG Sessions above, another recent letter to Trump asking him to force Koskinen to resign, and reports that the House GOP are considering filing criminal charges.

The latter link is to Gateway Pundit and I haven't watched the video yet, so there may be some hyperbole involved. And I'm not sure the House CAN file charges for anything except contempt. But then, they did refer the contempt charges to DOJ and nothing was done, so they could well reopen that issue.

Fri Apr 14 11:18:40 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How media bias works

The headline was: "Senators question Trump admin's alleged attempt to unmask Twitter account". The content of the article described an attempt by the Trump administration, through the legal process, to obtain the identity of a Twitter user who was claiming to be part of an "alternative" government agency. In other words, this was a legal attempt to identify an individual violating conditions of his employment at a government agency by (among other things) participating in political activity related to his government position.

When attention (and a lawsuit from Twitter) were brought to the matter, the request was dropped. All things considered, this was probably the right call.

But it is a long way from using intelligence agencies to spy on political opponents, which is what the term "unmasking" used in the headline refers to. The use of that incorrect term creates a false equivalence between the Obama administration's political spying and one idiot at DHS who sent a subpoena to Twitter.

Fri Apr 14 10:18:40 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Manhunt under way for dangerous criminal

PJMediaFederal authorities have expanded the search for a Wisconsin fugitive who allegedly robbed a gun store and is "armed and dangerous." The man may be plotting an act of mass violence, particularly against churches or other religious groups.

This lunatic seems to be planning to go out in a blaze of infamy. He allegedly sent a threatening note to Trump that also contained threats against churches and organized religion. Hopefully he will be caught before he can carry out whatever he's planning.

Fri Apr 14 09:18:40 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Anonymous Democrats attack named Republicans with press assistance

The HillSeveral House and Senate Intelligence committee members and their respective aides examined intelligence reports last week at the National Security Agency headquarters, according to CNN.

A congressional intelligence official told CNN that Rice’s requests, particularly for her high-level advising role, appeared "normal and appropriate.”

And another official reportedly said there is "absolutely" no blatant proof of wrongdoing by Rice in the reports and urged the Trump administration to declassify the documents to show the public there is no reason for alarm.

Not mentioned: the anonymous officials are Democrats. The demand to declassify the documents in particular is a Democrat talking point.

Thu Apr 13 10:09:53 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI obtained FISA warrant on Trump ex-aide Carter Page

The HillThe FBI obtained a warrant to surveil former Donald Trump aide Carter Page last summer under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), according to a Tuesday Washington Post report.

The FBI and Justice Department demonstrated probable cause that Page is acting on behalf of a foreign state in order to be granted the warrant.
Page raised concern among foreign policy experts for publicly and effusively praising Russian President Vladimir Putin and criticizing U.S. foreign policy toward Russia. In July, Page traveled to Moscow to deliver a speech on the topic.

So it sounds like one person very loosely associated with the Trump campaign used his free speech rights in a manner the government decided it did not like after deciding that the Russians were going to be blamed for Hillary losing the election, and that was enough to obtain a wiretap on a US citizen that "incidentally" swept up intelligence information on a candidate for President which was then "unmasked" and carefully correlated for the perusal of the sitting President's staff, who then leaked it to the press.

This stinks to high heaven, even if Page actually is a Russian agent. So far, he hasn't been charged with that. Or anything else.

Thu Apr 13 10:08:18 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch sues ATF for info on proposed AR-15 ammunition ban

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a component of the Department of Justice, seeking records of communications related to a proposed reclassification that would effectively ban certain types of AR-15 ammunition as armor-piercing. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-00600)).

We'll be digging into dusty paperwork to find out exactly what happened during Obama's pen and phone period for quite a while, I suspect. But Judicial Watch usually gets results eventually. They recently obtained another batch of IRS documents related to the targeting scandel; it looks like this batch of documents is mostly training manuals, but the IRS guarded them jealously and the timeline of changes to the training materials may be instructive.

Wed Apr 12 11:57:58 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Criticism where due

Washington PostAttorney General Jeff Sessions will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards and has suspended an expanded review of FBI testimony across several techniques that have come under question, saying a new strategy will be set by an in-house team of law enforcement advisers.

This is concerning to me. Moving audits to an "in-house team" usually means a whitewash. That said, the commission was about to end its term anyway, and Sessions is merely choosing not to renew it.

Forensics needs to be about getting accurate results, not merely convicting whoever happens to be on trial, and we've seen quite a few real problems come to light with how the FBI labs have handled evidence lately.

Wed Apr 12 10:57:58 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Does gun ownership reduce other rights?

SlateUnfortunately, not every court sees the issue that way. In January, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that when officers conduct a lawful traffic stop, they may frisk the driver if they “reasonably believe” him to be armed—“regardless of whether the person may legally be entitled to carry the firearm.” Even if the individual holds a concealed-carry permit, the court clarified, an officer may still search him without having any suspicion that he committed a crime. In a trenchant critique of the ruling, National Review’s David French wrote that the majority was “relegating lawful gun owners to second-class-citizen status.” While that might sound dramatic, Judge James Wynn admitted as much in a concurrence, declaring that gun owners “forego other constitutional rights,” including freedom from unannounced police intrusion and freedom of speech.

Impeach him.

Wed Apr 12 09:57:58 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Questions under oath

Reason outlines the questions Susan Rice must answer under oath. She'll plead the 5th. She won't be the first Obama official to do so.

Tue Apr 11 11:36:15 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

OMB letter warns government agencies to prepare for budget cuts

Daily CallerOffice of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is reportedly slated to send a letter to federal agencies later this week warning them to prep for substantial budget cuts.

The guidance letter falls in line with President Donald Trump’s March 13 executive order aimed at making the government leaner and more efficient, Axios first reported.

Still winning. Still not tired.

Tue Apr 11 10:36:15 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


SpectatorIn other words, no one is supposed to notice that one government did interfere in the U.S. election — ours. For months and months, the Obama administration was spying on Trump and leaking hints of its investigation to the press in the hopes of helping Hillary, who, by the way, colluded in the effort. Yet even the ruthless partisan Adam Schiff can’t “definitively” cite a single proof of collusion on Trump’s part, as he reluctantly acknowledged on Sunday. Given all the spying and leaking on Trump, wouldn’t we know by now if they had any evidence of collusion?

To say that Trump in this matter is more sinned against than sinning is an understatement. He was the blatant victim of political espionage and criminal leaking by the Obama administration, then when he complained about it, he was smeared anew. Two questions have swirled around this story: Did the Obama administration spy on Trump? Did Trump collude with the Russians? The answers are yes and no. The media wanted the answers to be no and yes. So now their game is to pretend like they didn’t ask the questions or that the “real story” is Trump’s imprecise tweeting. Notice that almost every story on the Rice revelation begins with throat-clearing about how it doesn’t “vindicate Trump’s tweet,” as if grading him on a tweet, in which he was clearly using wire-tapping as a synonym for spying and investigating, is the most pressing concern here.

I've done my bit to fight against the absurd claims that the Obama administration using intelligence agencies to identify and spy on Trump transition team members isn't "wiretapping", but there's a lot more here. Read the whole thing.

Tue Apr 11 09:36:15 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Attack in San Bernardino

2 dead adults and 2 wounded children, apparently. No indications yet if it was a terror attack, although the article suggests it is likely a murder-suicide (but then why the extra two children dead?).

The name of the town obviously raises the terror suspicion a little, but it's probably just a coincidence. Probably.

No names yet for the attacker(s?) or victims.

UPDATE: Steve F at Daily Pundit says the attacker was Muslim. I haven't seen that myself and he doesn't point to a source, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit. Honor killing? Attempted jihad with a low body count? I don't know.

UPDATE: Twitchy has indications that the alleged attacker was charged with violent crimes on multiple occasions, but the charges were dismissed both times, and the LA Times describes him as a "pastor with a military background". His name appears American, and he is black rather than middle-eastern. However, his "military background" was denied by the Navy who said there was no record of anyone with his name serving in that branch, and the description of him as a "pastor" comes from a Muslim:

LA TimesNajee Ali, a community activist in Los Angeles and executive director of Project Islamic Hope, said he knew Anderson as a pastor who attended community meetings.

"He was a deeply religious man,” Ali said of Anderson, who sometimes preached on the radio and joined community events. “There was never any signs of this kind of violence … on his Facebook he even criticized a man for attacking a woman."

"Pastor" would normally imply a Christian religion, but that part is not in quotes, and he's being defended by a Muslim. The odds the attacker in this case was actually a Muslim seem high, but it's far from definitive. That said, attacking your estranged wife and others in the process of committing suicide is not generally considered politically motivated terrorism.

Mon Apr 10 13:58:25 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

So.... why exactly doesn't the DOJ want its agents talking to Congress?

Apparently 8 different people advised this official not to appear to testify before Congress about Fast and Furious. And he really, really doesn't want to name them.

Mon Apr 10 11:31:01 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What did Obama know and when did he know it?

I'm going to put a couple markers down here.

There are a number of interesting dates that have been tossed around on this topic. One of them is that the surveillance/unmasking of Trump begin before he was the Republican nominee, roughly a year before the 2016 elections. That raises the question of whether other candidates in both party primaries were also targeted. I suspect they were. I don't see why Trump would be unique, and the Democrats certainly pulled out all the stops to force a Hillary nomination rather than a Bernie nomination.

But there has been another interesting date tossed around relating to when some of the rules for dissemination of the unmasked identities were changed. That date -- so far just a year -- is 2011. Why is 2011 significant?

Well, it's the year the Republicans formally took control of the House (after the 2010 elections). It's the year the IRS targeting began. It's the year before Obama's run for re-election.

The tricky part is that I've seen two dates for this rule change, one in 2011, one much more recently (after Trump won). I think this means there were actually two different rule changes, since we don't know the details of either one. Or possibly the 2011 rule change reference was a mistake.

But if, in fact, there was such a rule change regarding surveillance of US targets ("incidental" or not) then it is very suggestive about what Obama was doing during the 2012 election as well as the 2016 one.

I hope we still have records going back that far for the investigation.

Mon Apr 10 10:31:01 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

An interesting pair of dates

Real Clear PoliticsIn his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey dropped in the important fact that the FBI had been investigating the Trump campaign since July—during the Obama administration, and well before the election.

The FBI had been investigating Trump's alleged Russian connections since July, you say? Interesting. Other sources indicate that the Obama Administration's spying on Trump goes back to around November of 2015, quite a ways before July of 2016.

Note: I can't find the link I saw the earlier date in, but it was referencing Rice's unmasking efforts and indicated surveillance began a year before the election and before Trump became his party's nominee.

Mon Apr 10 09:31:01 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

ISIS bombs two churches in Egypt

Sun Apr 09 11:46:48 CDT 2017 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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