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National ReviewOn the second point, to understand legislative strategy, you must first understand legislative procedure. There are a series of procedural problems presented by the so-called “Byrd Rule,” which Yuval Levin explains here, and which precludes the Republican Senate majority from ramming through everything it would like without 60 votes — despite the fact that Obamacare was passed by the very 51-vote reconciliation procedure that now stands in Republicans’ way.

Can Republicans just ignore the Byrd Rule? In theory, they could limit or abolish the legislative filibuster, but that’s a drastic step with a lot of future downsides. And they can’t just unilaterally change the Byrd Rule itself, which derives from a statute (the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the father of the modern, out-of-control budget system) rather than just from Senate rules. In the Senate, even a single senator can raise Byrd Rule objections to any individual item in the bill, obtaining rulings from the Senate parliamentarian that can be overruled only by . . . 60 senators. Worse, even if violations of the Byrd Rule make it past the Senate, their statutory origin means that, at least in theory, they could be challenged in court.

The above is from a lengthy article that claims to be about how to repeal Obamacare. I tried to read the whole thing, but when I got to the above passage, my tolerance for stupidity ended.

The Democrats passed Obamacare through reconciliation. Therefore, Republicans can repeal it through reconciliation. The whole thing, not bits and pieces. It may be politically difficult, but increasing the political difficulty by insisting on respecting political hurdles the Democrats do not is just a way to lose.

The Byrd Rule (by which he means the filibuster) objection is likewise absurd. Yes, the "rules" require 60 votes on some issues. Yes, the Senate parliamentarian may rule that 60 votes are required. The Republican majority can then vote to overrule the parliamentarian with 51 votes, just as they did recently to put Justice Gorsuch on the bench. Collecting 60 votes is harder; collecting 51 votes is not as hard. Insisting on 60 votes is just another way to lose.

And what does the author recommend as a way forward?


National ReviewBut any path forward, to be politically viable, will probably require Republicans to swallow hard and continue having the federal government lay out more money than we would like, for longer than we would like, to subsidize health insurance one way or another for Groups B and C.

Why is it so hard to just repeal the whole damn thing -- like they have been promising since it passed -- and then try to pass specific reforms issue by issue? Why does everyone insist on a "master plan" for healthcare? Why can't we have a free market?

2017-04-24 11:43:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another terrorist attack in Paris

France 24A gunman killed one police officer and wounded two others before being killed himself in an attack on the Champs-Elysees in the heart of the French capital on Thursday evening.

The attacker was recently questioned by police before the attack.

Even if we can somehow use pervasive global surveillance to identify terrorists ahead of time, it does not help us if we cannot then do something ahead of time. The logical thing to do is to deport anyone (not already a citizen) who poses a terrorist threat.

The US has its own problems with not doing anything about the known wolves amongst us.

2017-04-24 09:43:25.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI oficial will not recuse himself after half a million donation from Hillary

Daily CallerA top FBI official whose wife received political donations from an ally of Hillary Clinton’s last year does not need to recuse himself from the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation, the bureau said Wednesday.

He didn't "need" to recuse himself from investigating Hillary's email server, either, and we saw how credible that investigation turned out to be. This is, by the way, the same "investigation" that was going to pay for a Democratically-sourced anti-Trump "dossier" that our own intelligence agencies regarded as bunk, yet the FBI used that document to justify their FISA warrant on Carter Page.

So in other words, after donating $700,000 to a Deputy Director at the FBI, Hillary's campaign got away with chronic felonius mishandling of classified information and deliberate violations of the federal records act, got the FBI to "investigate" the presidential candidate of the opposing party, used a faked Democratic party hit piece to justify a national intelligence wiretap, AND turned the intelligence agencies of multiple allied nations into pawns.

And STILL failed to win.

2017-04-23 11:23:59.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A contradictory defense

So Hillary's defense to the whole email server fiasco was that she didn't know anything about how email worked and just relied on technical employees to manage things for her. But a recent campaign-autopsy expose suggests she knew what she was doing and understood what it meant to be the person who owned the email server, because she took advantage of that after her 2008 campaign and downloaded the emails of her top aides to find out who was leaking and backstabbing her.

That's paranoid and creepy, but it also contradicts her earlier defense about just not knowing what a server is.

Someone should double-check her statements about that while under oath. Just in case she, you know... perjured herself.

2017-04-23 10:23:59.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump should withdraw from the Paris climate treaty

The FederalistThe fastest, most efficient way to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Treaty is to withdraw from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), negotiated in 1992. Doing so would keep President Trump’s promise to defund the United Nations’ global warming projects, and it could be done in one year rather than the four years required to withdraw from the Paris treaty. Withdrawal from the UNFCCC would automatically mean leaving the Paris treaty.

Actually, the fastest way to withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty is to point out that it was never ratified by the Senate and simply refuse to abide by any of its terms, including (especially) refusing to pay any money and clawing back as much as possible from the funds Obama illegally transferred.

But read the whole thing to find out why getting out is a good idea, whatever the mechanism.

2017-04-23 09:23:59.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Significant terror threats continue

Free BeaconFederal authorities have open investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is warning that the threat of terrorism in the United States has reached an all time high with radicalized individuals in the country plotting to strike "each and every single day."

That's certainly a lot of terrorist threats. But an "all time high"?

Free BeaconThe FBI has "open terrorist investigations in all 50 states," according to DHS Secretary John Kelly, who disclosed on Tuesday that there have been at least 37 "ISIS-linked plots to attack our country" since 2013, a number that shows no signs of diminishing.

I hate to say it, Adam, but total numbers like that one do not ever diminish. There have been 37 (according to your source) ISIS linked plots. If they find a new one, there will be 38. Then 39. Then 40. They don't go away if the FBI closes an investigation. They just keep getting higher and higher.

The number of open investigations and active plots is concerning, but let's not abandon numerical literacy in order to hype the threat.

2017-04-22 11:22:05.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump deports illegal alien previously protected by Obama's illegal amnesty

The HillJuan Manuel Montes, who first arrived in the U.S. at age 9, is now in his native Mexico despite having active protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, USA Today reported Tuesday.

But a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security disputed Montes’s story, saying that he was arrested by Border Patrol after illegally climbing over a fence in Calexico on Feb. 19.

So he was arrested climbing over a border fence at age 23, yet claims protection under DACA due to his first illegal entry at age 9, and is living with relatives in Mexico?

Yeah. He belongs in Mexico until he follows the correct procedures to legally enter the United States.

2017-04-22 10:22:05.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Summarizing the IRS targeting scandal

Over at American Greatness. No one lost their job. No one went to jail. No one was even charged with a crime.

Now a judge has ruled that discovery may proceed in a lawsuit related to the targeting.

2017-04-22 09:22:05.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Buy American and Hire American

PBSMuch like some prior orders, however, Trump’s executive action Tuesday essentially looks for detailed reports rather than making decisive changes. In this case, the reports are about granting visas for highly skilled foreign workers and ensuring that government purchasing programs buy American made goods as required by law.

Buying American (as required by law) is a good thing when you're talking about government purchases. And starting with "detailed reports" on the H1B situation is a good idea. It collects data which can be used to act effectively, and it puts companies that use extensive amounts of H1B labor on notice. If they aren't following the rules -- and many of them aren't -- they may well attempt to clean house voluntarily before the government begins actually enforcing the law.

2017-04-21 11:14:53.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

It can happen here

Over at Liberty's Torch, there's a great description of the parallels between the current political environment in leftist-controlled states (think California) and the rise of the Nazi party. It's not yet at the level of genocide, but in those states, the police are deliberately leaving the streets to violent leftists. The left's public opinion leaders are openly calling for denying "white men" the vote (and only backing down because they discovered the author doesn't exist).

We've not there yet, but the leftist cause advanced quite a ways under Obama, taking over the Democrat party (which used to respect free speech) and replacing it with thinly disguised fascism. The election of Trump is causing those leftists who remain in regional power to rip off their masks and expose themselves. Everything from desperate attempts at impeachment, to frantically trying to pass laws to declare Trump invalid, to literally rioting on the streets with the tacit support of the police.

Remember, the Nazis lost, politically. Their party had support, but not control of the government. They used street violence and created crises to claim temporary power, and then consolidated until temporary became permanent.

We're in for a rough 4 years if the Left doesn't change course and return to seeking political power democratically.

2017-04-21 10:14:53.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another so-called hate crime

The HillThe nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group on Monday said it received a page of the Quran smeared with “a foreign substance” assumed to be feces.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the message sent to its Washington, D.C., headquarters also contained a “racist” image depicting former President Obama as monkey.

If I was a betting man, I'd lay down a substantial sum in favor of the proposition that the sender, when identified, turns out to be a black Muslim.

And I won't allow this incident to distract me from mentioning that the three people shot in Fresno were shot by a black Muslim shouting "Allahu Akbar" whose Facebook page includes posts attacking "white people".

2017-04-21 09:14:53.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dems keep trying to remove Trump

The HillA House Democrat has introduced legislation to enhance the Constitution’s presidential removal procedures in response to concerns about President Trump’s behavior.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) filed the bill during the House's two-week April recess to empower former presidents and vice presidents of both parties, in coordination with the sitting vice president, to determine if a president is fit for office.

Impeachment theater. They know this sort of thing will not succeed, but they have to do something to sell their base on the idea that they will get rid of Trump somehow.

2017-04-20 11:43:38.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama calls Hillary's email handling mapractice

The HillFormer President Barack Obama thought his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s handling of the scandal surrounding her use of a private email server was "political malpractice," a new book reveals.

The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Sidewire’s Jonathan Allen report in “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign” that while Obama campaigned for Clinton for president in public, he kept his concerns over the scandal private.

“He couldn’t understand what possessed Hillary to set up the private e-mail server, and her handling of the scandal — obfuscate, deny, and evade — amounted to political malpractice,” the authors wrote.

So why didn't he ask her during the 4 years or so she served as his Secretary of State and he was sending her emails on her illegal private server?

2017-04-19 11:56:28.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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.

2017-04-19 10:56:28.0 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.

2017-04-19 09:56:28.0 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.

2017-04-18 09:53:26.0 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.

2017-04-16 11:31:04.0 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?

2017-04-16 10:31:04.0 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.

2017-04-16 09:31:04.0 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.

2017-04-15 11:47:48.0 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.

2017-04-15 10:47:48.0 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.

2017-04-15 09:47:48.0 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.

2017-04-14 11:18:40.0 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.

2017-04-14 10:18:40.0 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.

2017-04-14 09:18:40.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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