Vermont activist admits to being a Bloomberg stooge
Well, ok, not Bloomberg specifically. But when presented with a proposed change to a background check law during a public hearing, the lobbyist for Gun Sense Vermont said "We need to get national expertise on this before we can approve it."
National expertise from a supposedly local "grassroots" group? Smells like astroturf to me. As, in fact, most efforts to push gun control are.
It's instructive to read the recommendations contained in reports like this and notice how they would have little actual impact on anything, besides their obvious goal of spreading leftist values by government force. And, amazingly, they blame Lanza's murderous actions on the "stigma" of mental illness.
The conclusion they fail to reach is a simple one. People who have a history of violence will often have violence in their present and future. This is not always the case; there's always a first act of violence, and some people do manage to reform. However, if you're looking for the most effective predictor of criminal behavior, looking at that individual's past history of criminal behavior is your best bet.
Trying to keep ordinary, non-violent citizens from defending themselves against violent attack has absolutely nothing to do preventing those violent attacks in the first place, because you are dealing with people who have significant differences in behavior and relatively little overlap.
Google wants to split high-tech immigration from other changes
The problem with Schmidt's proposal is that it is blatantly self-serving. It is good for him and his company -- good because it allows him to import lower-paid workers who are tied to his company rather than compete with other companies to hire Americans at pay rates commensurate with their skill and engineering knowledge. And it's good for politicians because Schmidt will donate a fraction of the money he saves by replacing American engineers with foreign indentured servants who will be kicked out of the country if they quit their jobs to take one that pays better.
Since Hillary was not exactly helpful in providing a text format for her letter admitting to wiping her emails, I ran the letter through OCR and provide it for you here, below the fold, as text. I haven't tried to reformat it. Be aware there is an attachment that provides the original request sent to her as well.
The formatting is neither my fault nor Hillary's fault. It's due to the OCR conversion. I may try to clean it up at some point.
Rubio seeks gun rights votes by repealing DC gun laws
I have mixed feelings about this one. Yes, DC should have reasonable gun laws. That should go without saying. This legislation would undoubtedly improve them. However, there are benefits to dragging DC kicking and screaming into gun rights by a succession of court orders, too; the city government is such an easy target that it's almost better to just get the courts to keep striking down laws and making favorable precedents until we get to something acceptable. (and THEN Congress can improve on the results...)
Also, Rubio's motives on this one are pretty transparent. He wants to shore up his gun rights support before announcing a run for president, since Cruz just announced and Cruz is in position to sweep the field from a gun rights perspective. While making the effort is nice, Rubio's legislation isn't going to do much to help him compete with Cruz on that front, especially when an Obama veto is basically inevitable.
Actually, it's worse than "wobbling"; it's an accusation, verified by three of the people present and denied by Walker, that he's saying one thing in his public speeches and another thing to the private audience at expensive fund raising events. It is exactly the kind of pathetic, cowardly two-faced betrayal that politicians are famous for.
If Scott Walker supports amnesty, let him say so. If he thinks he needs to express something more complicated than a yes or a no, let him do that (but understand that a lot of people are going to take anything that isn't a "no" to mean "yes"). However, whatever your position on immigration -- and, frankly, anything else, but immigration is the hot-button issue for politicians telling the people one thing and voting for another right now -- do not lie to us.
You get no trust, no second chances, no oh-I-changed-my-mind on this issue, Scott. You tell us what you really think and then, if elected, you act on that. There is no trust left. None.
GOP budget demonstrates how inept the GOP leadership is
When I'm done throwing up, I'll laugh. Balancing the budget in 9 years is as good as never balancing the budget at all, which is exactly what this budget will do. The budget must be balanced each and every year. Spending today with the promise of spending cuts tomorrow never works.
Not that the Democrats are going to cooperate, but with majorities in both the House and the Senate and the Democrats having helpfully set a precedent for disregarding the filibuster rule already, a balanced budget for the next two years should be an easy win for the GOP. Except that the GOP is led by idiots, cowards, and squishes.
Come on. This is not a serious candidate. After watching his performance pretending to run for president in earlier elections, I concluded that his goal was to steal media attention and donations from the serious candidates while distorting the positions of the party in a way that would harm the party as a whole in the general election.
We can't keep him from running, but we don't have to take him seriously, and we should not.
I predicted this. As yet the report is unconfirmed, and it is likely the governments involved will try to keep this element under wraps as long as possible. But the truth is the truth.
UPDATE: The Weekly Standard suggests there's no evidence of an Islamic conversion, and the cited "news" site is opinion-only. That's hard to judge when you're relying on translations. I remain concerned by the possibility of an Islamic link, but we don't appear to have any hard evidence for it.
Crashing an airplane with 150 people on board into a mountain is evidence he was a murderous psychopath, and that's bad enough.
In the old days, people blamed such things on the anger of the gods, and I can see why. The earth shakes for hundreds of miles around with no visible cause. You can't deny that it happened, everyone felt it. Everyone was doing something, even if just sleeping, when it hit; each one of them has a possible explanation for why their behavior angered the gods. How could they possibly figure out what was really going on? And why would they do that, when the effort spent on such explanations would inevitably prove useless?
It's much easier to blame the earthquake on the local earth god. Or thunder god. Or just God, a remarkable improvement in efficiency that eliminated the cognitive effort of trying to appease a different god with different rites for every possible phenomenon and replaced it with a single god to appease for everything by being nice rather than mean. In terms of freeing up cognitive resources for useful tasks, monotheism was brilliant.
Of course, that God eventually fell out of fashion because he demanded people behave in useful, productive, and unnatural ways that took effort and discouraged hedonism. Some people decided to replace God with the State, and others decided to replace God with Gaia. The latter are now busy blaming the earthquakes on fracking and devising rituals and taboos to appease their new earth god.
History may not be repeating itself exactly, but it's certainly rapping.
They want to get the "doc fix" they pass every year in place permanently under Obama, so they can blame him for it, and take the issue off the table in future budgets.
The problem is, their supporters want them to cut the fucking spending, not increase it. Only 34 Republicans voted against it.
I've been in the third-party wilderness before on matters of principle. When Obama first ran for office, I thought opposing him was important enough to try to work within one of the major parties for a while. Now, that major party holds 2/3rds of government and is, if anything, worse now than when a divided House and Senate managed to vote for sequestration, which at least managed to reduce spending a little bit.
What is it going to take to change things?
I'm hopeful that Cruz will help, but he's just one guy.