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Fast and Furious now with new improved grenades

A long-awaited Inspector General report faults U.S. law enforcement officials for allowing a dangerous drug cartel grenade trafficker to operate unfettered, endangering the public’s lives, much as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) allowed thousands of assault rifles to be trafficked to Mexican drug cartels in Operation Fast and Furious.

Attkisson reports on the release of an Inspector General's report detailing the grenade smuggler who was allowed to continue his operations, presumably for political purposes to drum up support for gun control.

Yes, you read the right. The Justice Department allowed someone to smuggle grenades as part of their insane gun control scheme. And yes, people were hurt and killed with them.

2014-10-30 17:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Vaugn Index reveals Holder lied to Congress on Fast and Furious

The files received by JW include three electronic mails between Holder and Jarrett and one from former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke to Jarrett. The e-mails with Holder are all from October 4, 2011, a significant date because, on the evening of October 3rd, Sheryl Attkisson (then at CBS news) released documents showing that Holder had been sent a briefing paper on Operation Fast and Furious on June 5, 2010. The paper was from the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, Michael Walther.

This directly contradicted Holder’s May 3, 2011 testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, during which he stated that he, “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” The October 4, 2011 date may also be significant because it came shortly after the August 30, 2011 resignation of U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke and reassignment of acting ATF director Kenneth Melson to the position of “senior forensics advisor” at DOJ.

Judicial Watch spells it out. We were already pretty sure Holder was lying on this point, but details on how the coverup happened are new. And we don't know what else they are hiding about the operation.

Also, it's pretty odd that Obama would assert executive privilege for Holder's communications with Holder's wife.

2014-10-30 09:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bread and Circuses

New York politicians say Comcast shouldn't be allowed to buy Time Warner Cable unless it provides free Internet service to all residents of public housing.

In this case they aren't even paying for the circuses, they are just telling the circus providers to offer circuses for free in poor neighborhoods or they won't be allowed to perform.

This is disgustingly unethical and a really bad idea. See, the way the internet is structured -- unlike broadcast TV -- each individual or household has their own bandwidth allocation. If two people are watching the same TV show, they are effectively each using a full channel's worth of bandwidth while they are watching the show, rather than the show being broadcast once and received twice (or three times, or a thousand times).

So while a broadcast TV show can add a new viewer for free, and a cable TV show can add a new viewer for the cost of hooking a cable up to their house where they can receive the same signal everyone else is getting, a new internet user is like adding a new channel -- you have to add capacity all the way up the chain.

That means that you can't just pay a one-time cost to hook up a bunch of new people, you have to pay ongoing bandwidth costs and expand capacity in other ways -- capacity that is already severely strained from the demands of paying customers, whose bills are already absurdly huge due to existing agreements like this one.

Politicians are crooks who buy votes with other people's money.

2014-10-29 18:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Texas Prop 1

Over at 3 Boxes of BS, the author explains why he voted against Prop 1. I made the same call, for similar reasons, with the following addition:

I voted against, for pretty much the same reasons. Plus the local pols have been trying to get funding for their "light rail" projects in pretty much every single election since I moved here, and getting increasingly desperate each time they lose (and sometimes finding money elsewhere). The wording of this change doesn't say anything about light rail, but doesn't exclude it either.

Even if it was right to transfer the money out, I don't trust politicians to spend it on actual roads rather than light rail vanity projects.

We'll see if it passes.

2014-10-29 17:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Hickenlooper Blues

2014-10-29 16:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gun control activist attempts to SWAT open carry activist

This sort of stuff has already gotten people killed.

2014-10-29 15:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Looking back on Waco after 20 years

Dave Kopel has a new paper.

2014-10-29 14:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Start with the violence and intimidation...

Out of the blue, a Ventura County Sheriff's deputy approached my dog, drew his gun and threatened to shoot him while we were camping last night. One of the scariest, most upsetting and unnecessary things that's happened to us, here's how it went down.

... and people may respect you while you are there, but they'll hate you when you leave.

2014-10-29 13:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

David Hardy and David Kopel to speak on firearms laws

It's the two of them against an Orkish horde of anti-gunners on November 6th.

Ironic that it's two days after the election.

2014-10-29 12:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Shameless

Shirtless male models and party buses are being offered to encourage female students at North Carolina State University to get out and vote during the Nov. 4 midterm elections. NC State students looking to vote will have the option of taking “a party bus equipped with snacks, prizes and shirtless male models” provided by Cosmopolitan magazine, student newspaper, Technician Online, reports. Colleges around the country were eligible for Cosmo’s contest prize, but the battleground state school is the winner.

The Supreme Court has apparently ruled that this sort of thing doesn't constitute buying a vote, and is thus perfectly legal. Technically, they are probably right.

But anyone with a brain knows what's going on anyway.

2014-10-29 11:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A Governor out of touch with Colorado

2014-10-29 10:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Whatever happened to the IRS targeting investigation?

2014-10-29 09:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sharyl Attkisson's government-sponsored computer hack

It seems that a government agency wanted to keep a very close eye on her, and had actually planted evidence on her computer that they could later use to discredit or perhaps incriminate her or whoever they chose to paint as her sources. The evidence suggests that the hack was a black-bag job, not an authorized covert search for intelligence purposes.

UPDATE:
Just when you think Attkisson’s imagination might be running away with her comes wave after wave of evidence that both her CBS computer and personal iMac were repeatedly hacked and its files accessed, including one on Benghazi. A consultant hired by CBS reached the same conclusion. Further scrutiny of her personal desktop proves that “the interlopers were able to co-opt my iMac and operate it remotely, as if they were sitting in front of it.” And an inspection revealed that an extra fiber-optics line had been installed in Attkisson’s home without her knowledge.

That extra fiber-optics line? That's not her imagination.

2014-10-28 13:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The problem with government science...

The authors of the study admitted a bias going into the study. Here was the history as described to me: Public health experts long assumed flu shots were effective in the elderly. But, paradoxically, all the studies done failed to demonstrate a benefit. Instead of considering that they, the experts, could be wrong–instead of believing the scientific data–the public health experts assumed the studies were wrong. After all, flu shots have to work, right?

... is that the answer is usually known before the question is asked. Even when that answer is wrong.

Of course nothing immunizes non-government science from having the same issue. But if you are paying for a study with your own money, at least you are likely to pay attention to the results.

2014-10-27 15:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

NYTimes publishes article on black gun rights

It's by Charles W Cooke, who is an established conservative gun-friendly author... but still, in the New York Times?

2014-10-27 14:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama's FBI director does not believe you have a right to privacy

He's hinting at legislative action to prevent cellphone manufacturers from including secure encryption in their products, because he wants to be able to take your cellphone from you and read everything you have stored on it... which is basically your whole digital life for most people these days.

But the worst part of his speech is this:

Comey stressed that neither he, nor the FBI, has the answer to these thorny issues. Yet the public needs to resolve the questions, he said. In addition, the pendulum of public opinion — which had swung far to the side of security following 9/11 — has now swung too far in the opposite direction, he said.

That's so misleading it's actively deceptive. The key to the deception is the term "public opinion"; yes, after 9/11, public opinion strongly favored more surveillance of terrorists. Congress passed the Patriot Act, a pre-written wishlist for law enforcement that removed important safeguards keeping criminal investigations separate from national security activities. That wasn't enough so legal protections were quietly eroded further several times. Now, we get the NSA feeding information to the DEA, and the DEA making up lies in court about where they got the tip to stop a particular car. Under Obama, things have gotten measurably worse, with the surveillance apparatus directed away from terrorists and criminals, and focused on ordinary people.

Now, the pendulum of public opinion has swung back. But not one law has been changed. Not one NSA program has been shut down.

2014-10-27 13:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

They usually call this sort of thing a calibration error

...but if it really was a calibration error, you would see occasional errors in favor of Republicans. Instead, the errors seem to always favor Democrats.

2014-10-27 12:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Do illegal alien votes matter?

The Washington Post reports on a study that quantifies how often non-citizens vote, and arrives at the figure of approximately 6% (per election). That sounds fine until you realize that, first, they aren't allowed to vote, and second, that leads to an estimate of 1.4 million illegal votes in 2008. And when 80% vote for Democrats, that swings elections.

And while voter ids laws help reduce that by about 25%, they aren't in place everywhere, and they don't stop it completely.

2014-10-27 11:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The terrorists are restless

An apparent terrorist attack in Canada ends with the terrorist shot dead by the parliamentary master of arms within the government building itself. A man with a hatchet and social media promotions of Islam and jihad attacks four police officers... but authorities say it isn't terrorism.

2014-10-27 10:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ebola and biowarefare updates

Another confirmed Ebola patient, this one in New York City. The man is a doctor who was treating Ebola patients in Africa and returned to the US for some reason. He was self-monitoring for symptoms, but otherwise engaging in a normal life that included trips with the Uber cab service, subway rides, and bowling. Now, he's tested positive for ebola. Another aid worker has been hospitalized with symptoms after returning to the US, and is awaiting test results. Another possible case in Nashville.

And the epidemic in Africa is growing exponentially -- fast enough that they can't even keep track of it.

Why the fuck can't these people who know they are at risk for the disease self-quarantine while they wait out the incubation period?

To top it off, 5 embassies in Istanbul (US, Canadian, Belgian, German, French) received an envelope containing an unknown yellow powder. Previous "powder mailings" in the US have been anthrax. No idea what this stuff is yet, but it's not health food, that's for sure.

The measures we have to defeat Ebola rely on the patients and the people exposed to the patients cooperating. That assumption is no longer operative.

UPDATE: Another traveler quarantined and being tested for Ebola.

2014-10-27 09:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Democrats condoning voter fraud in Colorado

James O'Keefe goes undercover:



And in response, Facebook shuts down his account:


2014-10-25 17:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Civil Forfeiture



Hat tip to SaysUncle.

2014-10-25 16:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Verizon injecting user identifiers into web traffic

Cellular communications provider Verizon Wireless is adding cookie-like tokens to Web requests traveling over its network. These tokens are being used to build a detailed picture of users’ interests and to help clients tailor advertisements, according to researchers and Verizon’s own documentation.

I am no longer a Verizon customer.

2014-10-24 17:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A different kind of smart gun

Yardarm Technologies' sensor is a small device that goes inside gun handles and provides dispatchers with real-time geo-location tracking information on the weapon. The Yardarm Sensor also sends alerts when a weapon is unholstered or fired, and it can "record the direction of aim, providing real-time tactical value for commanders and providing crime scene investigators valuable data for prosecution," the company said.

It's intended market is police officers, and because it doesn't seem designed to interfere with the decision to fire the weapon and isn't seeking a government mandate, it may avoid the problems normally associated with "smart" guns in the gun community. But it's not quite that simple:

The 18-month-old startup has raised about $1.5 million so far and has radically altered its business model. Initially, the company focused on the consumer firearms market, but it ran into controversy. It was hawking technology that would allow private gun owners the ability to remotely lock a weapon. If a weapon was moved—or stolen—an alarm would alert the owner's mobile phone. The owner would have the option to remotely disable the weapon from being fired.

Yeah, I'm not going to trust that they have changed their spots. This project can die on the vine as far as I am concerned.

2014-10-24 16:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Homeland Security conducts raid on panty shop

"It all came crashing down on Tuesday when Homeland Security showed up and said we were committing a crime of copyright infringement," Meister said. "My initial response was fear. How often does Homeland Security show up to your panty shop?"

Why the fuck is "homeland security" enforcing copyright law on lingerie shops? Don't they have terrorists to catch?

2014-10-24 15:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sarah Hoyt on Voting

Just read the whole thing. And make sure you vote.

2014-10-24 14:35:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Media reporting school shooting in Seattle high school

3 dead, 6 wounded so far. Obviously, take everything reported early with a grain of salt.

The timing of this shooting, right before the elections when a major gun control initiative is on the ballot, makes me both sick and suspicious.

To those wounded, to their families, and to the families of the dead: the nation mourns with you.

2014-10-24 14:08:17.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch obtains Vaugn Index of Fast and Furious documents

They have a press release with information about the index, and here's the index itself. Obama is claiming executive privilege over approximately 15,000 documents.

2014-10-23 16:53:35.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DC police claim cell phone surveillance gear unused for 6 years

Newly released documents definitively show that local law enforcement in Washington, DC, possessed a cellular surveillance system—commonly known as a "stingray"—since 2003. However, these stingrays literally sat unused in a police vault for six years until officers were trained on the devices in early 2009.

I don't believe those devices sat unused and gathering dust for 6 years before someone found the time to train officers to use them. I believe that those devices were in active and entirely undocumented use from the moment they were acquired, and the use was simply not tracked in any documentation.

2014-10-23 11:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The embarrassing elephant in the room of online harassment

Twenty-seven percent of all of those who responded to the survey said they had been called offensive names. As many as 22 percent said someone had tried to "purposefully" embarrass them. Others said they felt threatened, were stalked, or sexually harassed.

If you took a survey and asked people who had been called offensive names, purposefully embarrassed, or "felt" threatened in real life, getting only 27% to say yes to that question would be a tremendous victory. That this is considered bad news somehow is only because of the desperate spin of the social justice warriors, who mostly come from an environment almost completely devoid of real threats.

2014-10-23 10:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Virginia police have secret stash of phone records

The database, which affects unknown numbers of people, contains phone records that at least five police agencies in southeast Virginia have been collecting since 2012 and sharing with one another with little oversight. Some of the data appears to have been obtained by police from telecoms using only a subpoena, rather than a court order or probable-cause warrant. Other information in the database comes from mobile phones seized from suspects during an arrest.

As far as I can tell, it's illegal on multiple counts. It includes call records, and data gathered from seized phones -- including those from people merely stopped, not charged or convicted of crimes -- but most importantly it is a shared database that includes basically all the information law enforcement can extract from a seized phone.

In short, it's the state version of the NSA.

2014-10-23 09:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bill Quick gets it right on Ebola

So, here’s the bottom line: The CDC is right about one thing: As long as Ebola is burning out of control in Africa, the likelihood that active cases of it will be exported from there to here remains high. We seem to have beaten back the first of such exports. Those who worship at the altar of western superiority, who advise us that we know all about Ebola and how to stop it, and that we should therefore not worry, are, because of this, more or less ensuring a continuation of the mindset that the public health system doesn’t really need to step up its game, because, after all, Western White People.

And that is a recipe for utter disaster.

Read the whole thing.

It's not that we are panicking about Ebola itself. It's that our government's response has been so completely naive, combined with the obvious fact that Ebola can become a civilization-destroying epidemic if it is not swiftly contained.

I wouldn't be worried if I trusted the Center for Disease Control to do its job and manage the swift and strict containment necessary. But the evidence has demonstrated that the CDC cannot be trusted to do so effectively.

2014-10-22 17:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

O'Keefe has new undercover videos on vote fraud

Today, he is releasing some new undercover footage that raises disturbing questions about ballot integrity in Colorado, the site of fiercely contested races for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, and the governorship. When he raised the issue of filling out some of the unused ballots that are mailed to every household in the state this month, he was told by Meredith Hicks, the director of Work for Progress, a liberal group funded by Democratic Super PACS.: “That is not even like lying or something, if someone throws out a ballot, like if you want to fill it out you should do it.” She then brazenly offered O’Keefe, disguised as a middle-aged college instructor, a job with her group.

If they don't cheat, they can't win. So they cheat very, very vigorously.

2014-10-22 16:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Government lives are more valuable than your lives

If you want to carry a gun in DC, there is now a legal procedure in place for you to do so:

Under the emergency legislation, applicants will need to have "good reason to fear injury to his or her person or property" or "any other proper reason for carrying a pistol."

In practice, under these sorts of laws, that means you have to be a politician, a public figure, a police officer, or make large contributions to a politician's campaign fund. But don't bother applying; this is emergency legislation passed only under court order, and before the 90 days are up the city will no doubt have lost your application and you will need to reapply under the new rules, whatever those are.

But never fear, your politicians and dignitaries are safe:

Firearms still cannot be carried into D.C. schools, hospitals, government buildings, public transportation vehicles, establishments that serve alcohol, stadiums or arenas, or within 1,000 feet of a dignitary under police protection.

Perhaps the city can fence off a small "concealed carry zone" where they guarantee you can legally carry your concealed firearm to protect yourself without being at risk of sudden visits from dignitaries in motorcades.

2014-10-22 15:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Shootings in Canada may be terror attacks

Multiple attacks, multiple attackers, one of whom had been monitored by their anti-terrorism task force for months, and on the day that Canada was set to bestow honorary citizenship on a critic of Islam from Pakistan.

Sure, it could be a coincidence. But that's not the way I would bet.

Note that adding the attacker's name to a list and "monitoring" him did not stop him from committing his attack. Now, imagine adding the name of every gun owner to a (much longer) list and "monitoring" them. Will that stop them from using their guns to attack people if they are so inclined?

Of course not.

2014-10-22 14:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More on Gamergate, CCW, and Anita Sarkeesian's canceled speech

Larry Correia fisks an editorial in the Deseret News.

With someone of his knowledge and expertise on this issue against a random journalist, it's like shooting fish in a barrel.

2014-10-22 13:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Incoming Liberian national with fever hospitalized

They are treating him as if he is a confirmed Ebola case, which is smart, since he is coming from Liberia and landed with a fever. He's not a confirmed case yet, though. The main thing this points out is how stupid it was for us to wait this long to put even basic controls in place.

How many potential cases slipped through before we caught this one? And let's hope they were only potential cases.

2014-10-22 12:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Florida court rules warrant required for cell phone location tracking

The application did not seek authority—or provide facts establishing probable cause—to track the location of Tracey’s cell phone in either historical or real time; and the order did not ask for access to real time cell site location information. For some unexplained reason, the cell phone information given to officers did include real time cell site location information on Tracey’s cell phone, which the officers then used to track him.

This is a welcome ruling; we need the courts to put some teeth into the warrant requirement for cellphone tracking.

2014-10-22 11:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Something rotten in Wisconsin

Observers like Ingold do their work alongside special voting deputies, or SVDs, paid employees who assist voters, such as those at nursing homes, cast their absentee ballots. While they take an oath to remain nonpartisan, the vast majority of SVDs in Milwaukee County are Democrats, perhaps not surprising in a deep blue urban county.

Occasionally you see news stories about these SVDs "assisting" people with mental disabilities or dementia to vote in the approved Democrat way. Being an election observer means you are supposed to spot and stop that sort of thing. But in this case, it got Ingold banned from observing elections and referred to a prosecutor.

2014-10-22 10:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama seething about poor performance of his own administration

He's pulled this move so many times before that people shorthand it as the "Limbaugh Theorem." The idea is that Obama's political tactic for his many, many failures is to run against his own government, as if he were an outsider, and external critic, rather than the man who is in charge of each and every bureaucracy. And now he's doing that with the CDC's response to ebola, Tom McGuire notes.

Someone needs to remind him that he is in charge of the government he is criticizing.

2014-10-22 09:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Supreme Court to take new gun case

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether a Florida man convicted on drug charges and forced to give up his firearms under federal law could sell the guns or transfer ownership to his wife or a friend.

I suspect that this is only a matter coming before the courts because the individual, a Border Patrol agent, surrendered his firearms to law enforcement directly rather than giving them to a friend (outside of his home) when first charged. It's not a great case for this particular aspect of law, but it could be a lot worse. My gut feeling on this is that we'll get a decision allowing prohibited persons to sell or transfer their firearm collections upon or shortly after conviction, since firearms can be assets with significant financial value and requiring them to be sold before conviction would impose a significant penalty on those found innocent. Transferring the firearms out of immediate physical possession should be sufficient to address safety concerns.

2014-10-21 16:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Judicial Watch source claims NAACP encouraging voter confusion

According to a letter from a lawyer for the State of North Carolina to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a speaker at a recent NAACP conference in North Carolina urged audience members to mislead the NAACP’s own members into believing they do not need to register to vote in advance, or that they do not need to vote at their assigned polling place. Why? The letter alleges: To create confusion and animosity during the upcoming mid-term elections in North Carolina, and to use the evidence of that confusion in the ongoing litigation between Eric Holder’s Justice Department and North Carolina and to show that North Carolina’s election integrity laws are discriminatory.

Read the whole thing.

2014-10-21 15:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ballot box stuffing caught on tape

An Arizona county party official said he saw a man stuffing “hundreds” of ballots into the ballot box and later told a local news outlet the entire incident was caught on surveillance video.

“A person wearing a Citizens for a Better Arizona T-shirt dropped a large box of hundreds of early ballots on the table and started stuffing the ballot box as I watched in amazement,” said A.J. LaFaro, chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party.

This is not a small scale operation. Hundreds of ballots were involved in just this one person and trip. Who knows what else is going on? I suspect this sort of thing is why Democrats historically have a significant advantage in early voting results.

Video of the incident below the fold.

(Read More...)

2014-10-21 14:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why do Democrats oppose voter ID laws?

An ex-DOJ Civil Rights lawyer explains:

1. Opposition to Voter ID Is a Base-Mobilization Tool.
2. Voter ID Opponents Have the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations.
3. They Need Money.

None of those reasons are wrong. But there is a fourth reason: they can't win unless they cheat.

2014-10-21 13:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lawsuit falls apart as ex-DOJ counsel allege fraud and deception

But now two former DOJ lawyers in the office that prosecuted the action corroborate Sierra Pacific’s claim that the DOJ’s case was based on fraud and deception. Using information provided by these lawyers, Sierra Pacific told the federal court that “the United States presented false evidence to the Defendants and the Court [and] advanced arguments to the Court premised on that false evidence or for which material evidence had been withheld.”

Going after the deepest pockets available is a common tactic in a civil lawsuit. We expect our government to be more interested in justice than pocketing a cash settlement based on fraud, however.

2014-10-21 12:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

National Science Foundation funds big brother research project Truthy

If you take to Twitter to express your views on a hot-button issue, does the government have an interest in deciding whether you are spreading “misinformation’’? If you tweet your support for a candidate in the November elections, should taxpayer money be used to monitor your speech and evaluate your “partisanship’’?

Read the whole thing.

2014-10-21 11:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Supreme Court may hear disparate impact case

The Supreme Court has granted the state of Texas a petition for certiorari disputing the use of disparate impact to determine discrimination in housing after a civil-rights group sued its housing department. Such pressure can force lenders to water down underwriting standards and take on more risk, since "down-payment requirements, debt-to-income requirements, loan-to-value requirements, and other neutral, risk-based underwriting requirements can all affect various racial and ethnic groups differently," ABA added.

Doesn't anyone remember that these insane credit policies have already caused a housing crisis and economic disaster that we have yet to fully recover from? Hopefully the Supreme Court does. The roots of this go back well before the Obama administration, though.

2014-10-21 10:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Two more Tea Party groups approved, but it took 4 years

Today, two more conservative groups received approval of their tax-exempt applications. Laurens County Tea Party of Laurens, South Carolina and Allen Area Patriots from Frisco, TX, both seeking 501(c)(4) status, were just approved.

Laurens County Tea Party and Allen Area Patriots both applied for tax-exemption in July of 2010. It took the IRS more than four years to review their applications and approve these groups.

Of our 41 clients, 28 have now been approved, and seven groups are still awaiting approval. One of these seven groups, Albuquerque Tea Party is less than two months away from “celebrating” five years since they originally applied for tax-exemption. To date, they have still not been approved.

This is being sold as a victory, but these two groups have been prevented from taking an active role in the 2010, 2012, and 2014 election cycles, as have many of the other groups. The remaining 7, should they be approved eventually, have a similar but even greater disadvantage.

For groups that were formed in response to the irresponsible spending of presidents Bush and Obama, denying them the ability to operate as tax exempt educational non-profits until both the presidents they opposed are out of office is a victory for censorship.

2014-10-21 09:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

21 day incubation period ends for many people on quarantine

So they are going to stop quarantining the people on Duncan's high-risk list who don't already show symptoms:

The 21-day monitoring period ended Sunday and Monday for nearly all the roughly 50 people. It concludes as federal health officials are tightening the guidelines for the protective gear worn by health care workers treating Ebola patients.

But Ebola can incubate for longer than that:

In the research, Haas found that according to statistics from the recent outbreak in West Africa— where the disease has run rampant in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since March— as well as in 1995 in Congo, there’s up to a 12 percent chance that someone could be infected after the 21-day incubation period. The range of deviation from the incubation period was between .1 and 12 percent during those outbreaks. In other words, from 0.1 to 12 percent of the time, an individual case will have a greater incubation time than 21 days.

They may be past the point of greatest risk, but they are not free of risk.

2014-10-20 18:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another end run around the Constitution

No one knows if the Obama administration will manage in the next five weeks to strike what many in the White House consider the most important foreign policy deal of his presidency: an accord with Iran that would forestall its ability to make a nuclear weapon. But the White House has made one significant decision: If agreement is reached, President Obama will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on it.

The Senate must ratify treaties before they carry any legal force. If Obama bypasses that procedure and "suspends" sanctions on Iran in order to avoid asking Congress to vote to lift those sanctions (when Congress would likely refuse to lift them), he will be acting without legal authority.

It's a pity Congress doesn't have the gumption to actually stop him.

2014-10-20 17:08:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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