Weissman knew about Papadopoulos entrapment scheme
The entrapment operation against Papadopoulos has been known for some time now. It was obvious from the first accounts we heard from Papadopoulos that it was an entrapment operation. However, this is the first evidence we have seen that Mueller's team was the one definitively behind it and knew what was going on in advance. This is more than just a tip that Papadopoulos was flying into the US with an undeclared $10,000 cash from some guy in Israel who tried to recruit him -- it's evidence Weissman was preparing the groundwork before the events.
Banks, YouTube deplatforming gun businesses, gun rights advocates
We're heading into a new civil rights era, complete with new Jim Crow laws -- except now instead of basing those laws on race, they are being based on holding conservative political opinions. Even if those political opinions are explicitly protected in the bill of rights.
Everyone has the right to free speech and gun ownership for self defense until they abuse it. Publicly owned corporations need to be obliged to respect that, even of the people who nominally represent the shareholders personally prefer not to.
Obama administration complicit in Clinton email FOIA coverup
We've known for some time that Obama knew personally about Clinton's private email server; we know because they sent emails back and forth. Which means Obama's claims to have found out about it from the news are a transparent lie. But now, we have proof that the Obama White House knew about the FOIA requests for Clinton's emails and was watching those requests closely. That means any violations in the State Dept response to those FOIA requests implicate the White House.
That Obama is a liar is not news. That he may have participated in or even orchestrated the coverup puts members of his administration in legal jeopardy. Probably not at real risk of conviction, but it's definitely going to put some heat on any officials who put anything in writing about the coverup.
"Lost" is being generous. The person who took the notes claimed they were turned over to the person supposed to enter them into the system. And they would have exposed Hillary's email server as not just being a security risk but an actual security breach, sending literally all her private server email to a foreign power.
Democrats have never had any consideration for the rights of gun owners; until the Supreme Court forced the issue they preferred to believe the 2nd Amendment was about a militia rather than a right of the people. But until recently, Democrats felt the need to pretend to care; they would create little astroturf "gun rights" groups to give endorsements to their candidates and wait until after the election (and an appropriate crisis appeared) to do their blood dancing and legislating. But it appears that is changing, and many of the current presidential candidates don't even feel the need to pretend.
That may lead them into electoral disaster, but if one of them wins, the disaster will be on us.
What will this do to the health care industry? Force them to compete on price. As always, much depends on the details of the legislation, but the basic idea -- forcing health care providers to publish their prices in advance, and perhaps getting rid of hugely disproportionate out-of-network costs (especially in emergency situations) -- is very sound and will allow people to choose where they go based on the expected price rather than being at the mercy of a mystery bill they don't know ahead of time and usually can't negotiate.
I've also heard of cases where people go to small, local "urgent care" facilities that are very definitely not hospitals... but charge like you went to the emergency room at a hospital. That's an outright scam that is enabled only by the lack of price transparency.
Will this solve everything? Probably not. But it's a start at applying market forces to the health care market, something that market has long been insulated from.
To see how this might work, look at procedures like Lasik. Such procedures compete on price. And the price has been going down, not up, even while technologies and techniques improved.
IG Horowitz: final three FISAs obtained illegally, first one still in doubt
... and not in much doubt following the Kavalec email, where the State Dept calls out Steele as a political hack doing opposition research and smear operations, points out that anyone at the State Dept engaging with him is in violation of the Hatch Act (prohibiting campaign activities by government officials with government resources), and notifying the FBI of those concerns before the first FISA was issued.
Note that the report from IG Horowitz has not yet been released; this is a characterization of its current conclusions from DiGenova.
Funny how Comey never applied those consequences when he was in a position to do so. It's only now, when AG Barr looks to be seriously investigating the whole of SpyGate, that Comey starts trying to feel Strzok and Page to the lion hoping he will be eaten last. Comey is hoping that Strzok and Page will act as cutouts -- a term of art in espionage whereby the cutout is caught and exposed as a spy, but doesn't or can't reveal anyone else involved in their operations. Especially not anyone higher up the chain.
But the evidence suggests Comey is not the only one feeding people to the lion. Comey himself is being fed to the lion. His FBI investigation itself -- the FISA warrant, the obstruction of justice, the special counsel, all of it -- is merely smoke and mirrors to cover the spying performed by the Obama administration on political opponents by the CIA and NSA. Not just on Trump and his campaign, either.
This stuff goes all the way back to 2012, which, as you will recall, is roughly when the Tea Party IRS scandal was exposed, which also involved... spying on political opponents.
California takes 1,000 guns for paperwork offenses
They keep talking about the number of guns they seized. What is the justification for seizing them? "Illegal transport", ie, moving them from place to place in a way the state doesn't like; and "selling and lending" in a way the state doesn't like because of silly and mostly non-functional cosmetic features.
You know what I don't hear? Anything related to violence. As far as I can tell, this man was arrested and had his firearm collection seized because he went shooting with his collection, lent friends firearms from his collection to try at the range, and occasionally sold one without asking the state for permission first.
It's funny how these attempts at a financial death penalty are always aimed at the "far right" but never the "far left". Should we try to pressure financial services companies to deny service to Bernie Sanders, an admitted socialist? How about Antifa? How about openly communist political groups? How about the New Black Panther Party, who famously guarded polling stations in military uniforms with billy clubs when Obama was running for President?
The far-right but not far-left is an open admission of bias.
Putting it bluntly, people have the right to their opinions, and they have a right to participate in groups of people that agree with them, and they have a right to participate in the financial system so long as their activities are nonviolent and within the law. Yes, even if the left disagrees with them. Yes, even if the left REALLY REALLY STRONGLY disagrees.
These attempts at imposing a financial death penalty on people for having political views that the left disagrees with amounts to a financial civil war.
Poll says Congress should investigate origins of SpyGate
Technically, the origins are probably in the CIA. But that's just quibbling over details at this point. The real question is whether it was simply "POTUS wants to know everything we're doing" or whether it was "the White House is running this". Or, you know, both.
Although illegal immigrants are indeed in the country illegally, we give them so many benefits and legal niceties that they may as well be legal when it comes to their chances for being arrested and deported.
I don't have any inside information, nor any expertise in the subject matter. I do, however, have opinions. My opinion is that the NRA may be the biggest gun-rights organization out there, but in terms of actually protecting gun rights, it has not been very effective lately. As an organization, it seems to spend a lot of time fighting the wrong battles, or not fighting at all. They seem to prefer endorsing products to their members (eg, selling their mailing list) and funding strangely expensive media projects (NRA TV). Legal challenges to gun control laws have been mostly left to other organizations. And the opinion of gun owners in general is that the organization is too prone to compromise away rights, and has been generally ineffective.
I wouldn't be surprised if there is a remarkably casual and loose attitude at the top levels of the NRA. People in positions of power tend to get complacent when they are not challenged, and quite a lot of public evidence for complacency has emerged. I assume their political affiliates have lawyers keeping closer watch on things. Even so, this is not a good time to have the largest gun rights organization sidelined. Politicians on one side of the aisle are pushing hard for gun control, and on the other side, they are taking small nibbles (eg, the bump stock ban) and seeing who objects.
We do seem to have some positive trends in the courts, which is good. But that's one of the areas that traditionally has not been pushed by the NRA, suggesting something about the NRA's effectiveness in pushing pro-gun policies in general.
One thing is for sure; with the Democrats pushing gun control from the House and their 2020 presidential candidates, the blue states are going to get worse and we'll likely be playing defense rather than offense in the Senate.