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Can Hillary escape her past?

National ReviewCharles Krauthammer said Hillary Clinton would face several challenges in a presidential campaign, but may struggle to escape her past most of all.

She can't escape her past, but apparently she can delete it.

2015-04-17 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Army loses transgender suit, ordered to pay up

Judicial WatchIn the order issued this month the EEOC writes that Lusardi was harassed because superiors used “male pronouns” after he identified as a woman and “referred to her using these male signifiers on at least seven occasions.” The Army also violated Lusardi’s rights by refusing to let him use the women’s bathroom, the EEOC asserts. The document includes testimony from an Army official explaining that Lusardi was assigned a single-user executive restroom because other female employees would feel “extremely uncomfortable having an individual, despite the fact that she is conducting herself as a female, is still basically a male, physically.”

I would say that you can avoid this kind of thing by declining to hire crazy people, but they seem to avoid showing the crazy until after they are hired, and it's probably illegal to discriminate against crazy people in hiring too.

Maybe it would work to say "I hired a man named John, not a woman named Tamara. When John stopped showing up for work, he was fired."

2015-04-17 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A day in the life of a small business

The Air VentNot that this cost individually would even scratch the surface of the taxes we pay. Also not that that matters to most readers. What we are experiencing at the very rare size private company we are, is immoral from a government and tax standpoint. The system is designed to resist success for manufacturing in particular. The tax and regulation load is so dramatic that I cannot find the words to explain. All you need to do to see the truth is to look around at which country USED to be #1 in manufacturing, and now has so little manufacturing. Of course, most of us simply look to what happened today, rather than what happened over time to the macro-economy.

Read the whole thing.

2015-04-17 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House Panel demands environment group's communications with EPA head

Washington ExaminerA House committee investigating the destruction of more than 5,000 official cellular telephone text messages by the Environmental Protection Agency wants a major nonprofit activist group to provide copies of all its communications with Gina McCarthy, the agency's chief, on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline... Prior to issuing the subpoena, the panel was told by the environmental agency that McCarthy had received only one text message dealing with official business. That message was from Karpinski and complimented McCarthy on her comments about Keystone. McCarthy responded by telling Karpinski that she doesn't use text messaging for government business.

It's mainly news because Congress has apparently caught on to the fact that officials in Obama's administration are quite willing to withhold their communications on any pretext or no pretext at all. It also sheds some light on the "dark money" issue the left keeps yelling about:

Washington ExaminerKarpinski's group has received nearly $90 million in 1,056 contributions since 2000 from liberal philanthropies and individuals, including the Tides Foundation. Tides pioneered the use of an umbrella foundation of wealthy individuals wishing to remain anonymous to funnel millions of dollars in "dark money" to their favored causes.

The Tides Foundation funds radical left wing organizations.

2015-04-17 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch documents reveal Lerner knew targeting criteria might raise questions

Judicial WatchJudicial Watch today released a new batch of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents, including an email from former IRS official Lois Lerner in February 2012 asking that a program be set up to “put together some training points to help them [IRS staffers] understand the potential pitfalls” of revealing too much information to Congress. The documents also contain a Lerner email from 2013 in which she says she is willing to take the blame on some aspects of the scandal. She also indicates that she “understands why the IRS criteria” leading to the targeting of Tea Party and other opponents of the President Obama “might raise questions.”

In other words, what Lerner was angry about was her subordinates in Cincinnati putting things into emails and documents that were discoverable to Congress and looked bad... in other words, angry they got caught. She was perfectly fine with what they were actually doing, targeting political opponents of the President.

Lerner email via Judicial WatchWe are all a bit concerned about the mention of specific Congress people, practitioners and political parties. Our filed folks are not as sensitive as we are to the fact that anything we write can be public–or at least be seen by Congress. We talked with Nan [Downing – Director of EO Examinations] and she thought it would be great if R & A could put together some training points to help them understand the potential pitfalls, as well as how to think about referrals.

In other words, her subordinates are writing about specific Congresspeople and political parties in connection with the targeting. Are they saying things like "Senator X asked me to shut this group down" or "Representative Y is supported heavily by this group"? That would certainly be very embarrassing for the IRS and Congress, as well as clearly illegal. And Lerner's emphasis is not on behaving properly but on making sure nothing is written down that can be found out by Congress.

2015-04-16 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome

Patterico“In reviewing the exam results, the city discovered that the test had an adverse impact on minorities, in particular, on black, Hispanic and female candidates,” Mayor David Martin wrote to the Board of Finance on Thursday. “The results showed that 3.8 percent of black candidates, 20.8 percent of Hispanic candidates and 6.2 percent of female candidates passed the exam, a statistically significant difference from the 36.4 percent rate for Caucasian candidates.”

It might just be possible that the differences in test scores are the result of individual differences rather than a biased test. Mind you, it's also possible the test could be biased somehow. I'm no expert on fireperson testing. But I'd want to see some specific sources of test bias and an explanation of how that bias is improper before I agreed to throw out the existing test and replace it at much time, trouble, and expense.

For example:
If the fireman test requires you to lift and carry a mannequin weighing 200lbs, a lot more men will pass that part of the test than women. Is it biased? Not really; the standard is the same, but inherent gender differences are going to make it harder for women to pass. Should we lower the standards to allow more women? Or do we want emergency responders to be the best possible emergency responders even if that means there are more men than women carrying people out of burning buildings?

On the other hand, if candidates are being tripped up by test questions on the average velocity of a swallow in flight, those test questions can probably be safely discarded.

The point is that waving the percentage around is insufficient. You have to actually prove the there is improper bias rather than simply picking the best people for the job.

2015-04-16 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Many state governments confiscating and destroying guns

They do the confiscating following a domestic violence restraining order or mental health issue, and then refuse to return the guns when the owners resolve the charges. Or, they charge storage fees more than the value of the gun; or they destroy the guns and bet that the legal fees to recover their value just aren't worth it. Many of the states are relying on a Department of Justice letter requiring that owners prove their ownership through registration records or receipts, but most states don't have registration systems and won't honor receipts given at the time of confiscation. The result is, once confiscated, most guns are never returned.

Fox News“People keep forgetting the right to keep and bear arms, the Second Amendment, is protected by the U.S. constitution, and private property is protected under the Fifth Amendment,” Kilmer said. “Government cannot take property without just compensation and due process. The great thing is that when it comes to guns, you get protection under both amendments.”

Except anti-gun states honor neither amendment in this case. The courts will have to apply pressure until police departments shape up.

2015-04-16 10:57:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reason on Net Neutrality

An in-depth look at the problems.

2015-04-16 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why did Slager think he could get away with it?

Daily PunditI don’t know everything that happened, but I know what it looks like happened, and that raises a question for me: Why on earth did this cop think he could get away clean from a back-shooting murder under the color of law?

Leaving aside the fact that there was someone there with a camera, which Slager probably did not notice until after the fact, why would Slager think he could get away with shooting someone 8 times in the back while they were running away?

I suspect in large part it's because he wasn't thinking. There seems to have been a fight, and the officer appears to make the decision to draw and fire even as the victim is making the decision to run. It takes time to recognize that the threat has ceased. The result is tragic, possibly even justified if the victim had struggled for the officer's taser and the officer had fired during the fight, but not premeditated.. and definitely not justified once the victim is running away.

2015-04-15 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

IRS agents horrify their own families

ReasonSchickel says the political attacks made his job more difficult and potentially more dangerous. Throughout his career, he dealt with antigovernment tax avoiders in Arizona, but once the Tea Party scandal broke, his encounters with otherwise law-abiding ranchers became more hostile. “I used to work Tombstone,” he says. “They hate the IRS down there. It’s a hard enough thing to drive out, bang on somebody’s door, and make a legal demand on them for money. It’s even harder when the person is wearing a gun on his hip and says, ‘I saw on TV that you people are discriminating against the Tea Party.’ That’s when I decided, the hell with this!”

See, this is the thing. The law is almost entirely a matter of cooperation. We don't go through our lives paying taxes, obeying traffic laws, and without murdering everyone around us because there are police who will step in and prevent such actions. We follow the law because, mostly, everyone agrees that the law is a rough approximation of the right thing to do, and that it's generally to our benefit to follow it so that everyone else does also. One of the assumptions built into that social model is that the law will be enforced impartially; that it doesn't matter if a police officer likes you personally or not, you will be safe from him if you follow the law.

The IRS is now widely considered to have violated that rule of impartial behavior, and that means people are that much less inclined to cooperate with them. Since there's no way the IRS can audit everyone, and documents are filed voluntarily, without cooperation our tax system becomes a lot more difficult to manage.

2015-04-15 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The outcome of the Emerson case

Shall Not Be QuestionedI also didn’t know it was still possible to raise due process issues in Misdemanor Crimes of Domestic Violence. Years ago, I can’t remember the case, Lautenberg Amendment was challenged on ex post facto grounds and lost. I thought that was the end of that. But apparently not completely, when seeking grounds to get a conviction set aside by the courts.

I remember Emerson lost on this because the 5th Circuit determined that the due process involved in a restraining order was "minimally" sufficient, but that wasn't an ex post facto case.

2015-04-15 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Liberal Media Bias for Hillary

Huffington PostHillary Clinton's campaign team held an off-the-record dinner Thursday night in Washington, D.C., for roughly two dozen journalists and staff members at John Podesta's house, according to sources familiar with the matter... Podesta, the campaign chairman and a seasoned cook, made a pasta with walnut sauce for the dinner guests, which included reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, Bloomberg, McClatchy, Reuters and several major TV networks.

A Huffington Post reporter attended the dinner, but did not discuss it with this reporter.

Let's play the substitution game. If George W Bush or one of his chief staffers invited two dozen journalists and staff members to have dinner at his house, would it not be a conflict of interest for them? Wouldn't they be criticized for accepting the invitation?

2015-04-15 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senate about to surrender treaty power to Obama

BreitbartDefying threats of a presidential veto, critics of the Iran deal reached a bipartisan compromise on Tuesday that will allow the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act–the “Corker-Menendez bill”–to proceed to a vote with a veto-proof two-thirds majority. The White House has backed down, fearing the embarrassment of a veto override on a key foreign policy issue. Yet the conditions that critics of the Iran deal had to accept will, in fact, make the deal easier to pass in its current form.

Rather than considering the Iran deal as what it is, a treaty which requires the Senate's consent by a two-thirds majority, the legislation will instead require the Senate to vote to impose sanctions on Iran if it disapproves of any deal the President reaches. Instead of holding an up-or-down vote on the treaty, if this legislation passes -- at this writing, it passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously -- the deal will be considered in effect unless and until the Senate, and possibly the House as well, vote to reimpose sanctions. Such a vote would require a majority of the House, a majority of the Senate, plus 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster, and 67 votes to overcome a veto... instead of Obama needing to convince 67 Senators to vote yes for his treaty to have any effect whatsoever.

In short, the Senate has surrendered the treaty power to Obama if it passes this legislation.

Contact your Senators. Tell them to oppose this legislation. Tell them why, because many of them have been told by their leadership that this legislation limits Obama rather than enables him. Demand an up-or-down vote on any agreements Obama purports to make with Iran, with two-thirds of the Senators present concurring in order to pass, and demand your Senator vote NO.

Why should you demand a NO vote, aside from the whole surrender of Constitutional powers to the President issue?

BreitbartIndeed, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said Tuesday that President Barack Obama might consider signing a version of the bill that makes it “the one and only mechanism for codifying precisely what the Congress’s oversight is into this matter.” (The other compromises were the removal of language requiring the president to certify that Iran is not engaging in terror, and a shortened timeframe for Congress to review the final Iran deal once it had been reached and submitted.)

If we cannot demand that our negotiating partner in this purported agreement stop committing acts of terrorism against us, how can we possibly trust them to honor this agreement?

UPDATE: Marco Rubio and Rand Paul are both on the Foreign Relations Committee, meaning they both voted yes on this. Cruz is not.

2015-04-15 09:06:18.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Maine trending towards Constitutional Carry?

Bangor Daily NewsSen. Eric Brakey, an Auburn Republican serving his first term in the Legislature, is bullish about rolling back restrictions on carrying concealed handguns in Maine, despite several similar efforts that failed in recent years.

His bill, LD 652, would make Maine the fifth state to establish “constitutional carry” — a universal right of all legal firearm owners to carry concealed handguns on their person or in their vehicles. The bill has a whopping 96 co-sponsors, more than half the state Legislature, including leaders from both parties.

There's a poll on the story, so go vote.

I am, frankly, shocked and disappointed that Texas is still inching towards open carry and Maine is within shouting distance of Constitutional Carry!

2015-04-14 12:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Erdely have a prior fake-rape story?

Red State thinks they found one.

2015-04-14 11:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

From the mouths of babes

Ace of SpadesChelsea was on the phone with friend when the agent walked in. "Oh, I've got to go," she said. "The pigs are here."

The agent didn't appreciate that, Payne recalled, and tried to explain to Chelsea that he was just doing his job, which was "to stand between you, your family, and a bullet."

Chelsea replied: "Well, that's what my mother and father call you."

Even wiping your email server can't hide the skeletons in the network closet.

2015-04-14 10:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Breaking: Romulan queen tests new tricorder on strange earth food.

Why I'm not voting for Hillary

2015-04-14 09:59:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

No wonder she wiped the server

Ace sums up Hillary's corruption. As in, "I will explain. No; wait. Is too much. I will sum up." But here's the key bit:

International Business Times via Ace of SpadesThe details of these financial dealings remain murky, but this much is clear: After millions of dollars were pledged by the oil company to the Clinton Foundation -- supplemented by millions more from Giustra himself -- Secretary Clinton abruptly changed her position on the controversial U.S.-Colombia trade pact. Having opposed the deal as a bad one for labor rights back when she was a presidential candidate in 2008, she now promoted it, calling it "strongly in the interests of both Colombia and the United States." The change of heart by Clinton and other Democratic leaders enabled congressional passage of a Colombia trade deal that experts say delivered big benefits to foreign investors like Giustra.

I believe that is spelled quid pro quo.

2015-04-14 09:57:46.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lincoln Chafee announces exploratory committee for presidential run

Providence Journal via Legal InsurrectionChafee, a former Republican turned Independent turned Democrat, said he will spend the next few months in New Hampshire, Iowa and other key battleground states, asking voters whether his “independent thinking and fresh ideas for the future” are what is needed in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Gentlemen, I would like to propose a toast.

Confusion to the enemy!

I would also like to recommend that Boehner take a hint from Chafee and formally switch his party affiliation to Democrat. That way, he can openly advocate what he presently advances in secret backroom deals, and we can have a Speaker who actually represents us.

2015-04-14 09:49:15.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Turning the tables on the media

Comments at InstapunditWhen confronted with questions that are essentially accusations as Rand Paul was, I think Senator Paul and other Repubicans should respond with something like "I'll answer that when you ask a similar question of Hillary Clinton". Even better if they can provide the question such as "Before I answer your question let me ask you - Will you ask Hillary Clinton if she has changed her opinion about [fill in the blank]" or "will you ask Hillary Clinton if someone who compromises American security by exposing intelligence information should be trusted with the Presidency?" Don't attack the media, but expose their bias. Personally, I think it would be fine for Senator Paul to say "I'm not answering until you ask Hillary a similar question."

This is almost the right answer. You need to stop the questioner, provide your alternate target and question, and then stick to it. Move directly into the next question, call on the next interviewer, or just keep hammering your point home. Do not stop after your challenge and give them dead air to follow up. Turn the tables, attack the question, attack the questioner, return to your prepared script. Keep track of whether your questions get asked and when they try again, remind them.

The pathetic embarrassments to journalism at all the major TV networks, Fox News included, are the enemy.

If you are taking flac, you must be over the target.

2015-04-13 13:22:20.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Illegal aliens flying into the US on the taxpayer dime

Gateway PunditA joint program between the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security called the In Country Refugee and Parole Program is reuniting children from Central America with their parents or just one parent who is now living in the US. And you get to pay for it.

2015-04-13 12:49:15.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Say, I have an idea...

... can we maybe report this tax-exempt group to the IRS for engaging in electioneering activities that oppose a specific candidate?

2015-04-13 11:49:15.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bernstein's mental model of the progressives is out of date

Volokh ConspiracyConfronted with the hate speech analogy, progressives will typically reply that supporting freedom of speech is completely different from supporting the right to engage in discriminatory action. After all, speech is just speech—sticks and stones, and whatnot—while discriminatory actions cause real distress to the victims. And besides, they argue, the marketplace of ideas can be trusted to ensure that egalitarian views will emerge victorious.

Confronted with the free speech argument for the last 10 years or so, progressives will reply that they support hate speech laws, that advocating for race-blind competition is hate speech, and that you should shut up -- in fact, they've been harping on that last theme for 18 years already.

As a libertarian I might make those arguments. I have in the past -- without the caveats about discriminatory action, because we have the right to freedom of association. But the sort of liberal or progressive who can even comprehend those arguments, much less volunteer them, is an antique specimen indeed. One might even say obsolete.

The new progressives are all fascist, all the time.

2015-04-13 10:49:15.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Political theater on the Iran treaty

The Republicans are trying to muster 67 votes for a veto override to stop Obama's deal with Iran with legislation that requires a role for the Senate. The White House is trying to block that legislation. Both sides are pointing and yelling and making noise like idiots. What does the Constitution say about this?

Constitution[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur

To have a valid treaty, Obama needs 67 votes for his treaty in the Senate. But both the Republicans and Democrats are arguing over whether the Republicans can get to a veto-proof 67 votes against. It's complete and utter nonsense. There is no treaty without a two-thirds vote in favor of the treaty.

And even that is meaningless, because the President doesn't even have agreement with his negotiating partners in Iran. He doesn't even have a signed piece of paper. He left the talks and presented his talking points to the press about the "deal"; Iran went home and presented their talking points to their population and immediately began yelling about how Obama was lying. They couldn't even maintain an agreement in public for 24 hours, much less the 10 years the deal is supposed to cover.

So let me tell you what is going to happen.

Obama and Iran will, eventually, pretend to agree to something. Obama will wave a piece of paper (having learned that verbal agreements with the Iranians are worthless) and proclaim peace in our time. The Iranians will go home and resume work on their ICBMs and nuclear warheads and uranium enrichment. The sanctions will be lifted because Obama trusts Iran and wants them to have a nuclear weapon so long as they get it after he leaves office. Congress will hold votes on whatever agreement Obama claims to reach, and the agreement will certainly not come close to 67 votes in favor; but Obama will order his administration to cancel the sanctions anyway.

And shortly after Obama leaves office, the next president will learn that Iran has already built nuclear weapons and mounted warheads on missiles that can target American cities.

2015-04-13 09:49:15.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House to consider IRS reform legislation this week

The BlazeThree of the bills up next week deal with the targeting scandal. One of these, from Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.), would try to ensure the IRS can no longer play politics with tax exempt applications by allowing groups to declare tax-exempt status on their own, without having to wait for the IRS.

Another from Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) calls for the firing of any IRS worker that delays their tasks for political reasons, such as slow-walking the tax-exempt status of a political group. And the third, from Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), would require the Treasury Department to issue regulations allowing groups to appeal decisions by the IRS not to grant them tax-exempt status.

The House will also look at three other bills next week aimed at improving the overall level of customer service at the IRS. One would create a taxpayer bill of rights ensuring that taxpayers have the right to appeal decisions and the right to privacy, and another would require the government to keep people informed about ongoing investigations into the release of confidential taxpayer information — under current rules, the IRS is not required to tell people much of anything about these investigations.

Do those sound like helpful reforms to you? They sound like weak sauce to me. If you want to fire someone for slow-walking you have to prove they did it and prove they did it for political reasons. That's a whole long process that would be made difficult by employees losing their emails and pleading the 5th. Requiring the IRS to issue regulations allowing for appeals is going to be an exercise in frustration, because the IRS will simply write the regulations to ensure the appeals reach the same result. Having a broadly-worded taxpayer bill of rights is useless without an enforcement mechanism and penalties for violating it.

But it gets worse.

The BlazeEach of these bills are expected to be considered under House rules that allow for a shorter debate, but require a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The GOP plan to pass the bills in this manner indicates the party enjoys broad bipartisan support, since dozens of Democrats will be need to reach the two-thirds majority threshold.

In order to reach that entirely unnecessary two-thirds, the legislation will need to be substantially watered down in advance. Which means it will be carefully structured to protect Democrats from being exposed, and when it goes to the Senate, Republicans there will be in a weaker bargaining position as they seek to overcome a filibuster, and weaker still if they need to overcome a veto.

2015-04-13 01:05:12.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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