Gary Kleck: Guns Reduce Crime

Tue Dec 30 14:26:50 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How conservatives can win back the country

Mon Dec 29 10:46:15 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

We're Number Two!

Sat Dec 27 17:07:39 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fast and Furious docs finally released

The Department of Justice improperly withheld public documents related to Fast and Furious after the first Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for them several years ago. The agency was recently forced to produce some of the materials to the conservative watcThe Justice Department is still withholding thousands of documents... The thousands of documents provided are often heavily redacted. A review of hundreds of pages so far has revealed no obvious, legitimate basis under which President Obama should have invoked executive privilege, as he did, to withhold them public from congressional subpoena and other public reviews. hdog group Judicial Watch, which filed a FOI lawsuit to obtain the information.

Sharyl Attkisson reviews the documents obtained by Judicial Watch.

Thu Dec 25 09:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

4 things the media won't tell you about IRS targeting

Not counting the fact that it existed at all, of course. These 4 things are new information in the House Oversight report. The full report is now available as well.

Wed Dec 24 16:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

White House hiding Obama photos from the Benghazi attack

Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson told CSPAN on Tuesday that the White House is hiding photos of Barack Obama on the night of the Benghazi terrorist attack on the US Embassy. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest will not turn the photos over to reporters.

Presumably the photos are being hidden because they show Obama doing something other than taking the Benghazi attack seriously.

Wed Dec 24 15:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Christmas Eve news dump...

Just in time for Christmas, the Obama administration is dumping thousands of criminal illegal aliens from detention centers on the streets of America, including those who were facing deportation—and giving them work permits so they can compete with American citizens and legal immigrants for jobs.

Obama seems to be operating under the principle that he can do whatever he wants, and no one has the power to stop him, so that makes it ok. So far he's been right, and each time we let him get away with it, our nation moves one step closer to a third-world dictatorship.

Wed Dec 24 14:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The person advocating violence is usually the informant

A former small-town Pennsylvania police chief who posted online videos of himself ranting obscenely about liberals and the Second Amendment while shooting automatic weapons secretly fed information on people he considered militia members, anti-government extremists and so-called “sovereign citizens” to the FBI and state police, according to documents he showed to The Associated Press.

Presented without comment.

Wed Dec 24 13:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Two more tea party c4 groups approved after 4 year wait

Remember, the IRS targeting was not about denying c4 status outright; such a decision could be appealed and overturned by a judge. The targeting was about delaying the applications so that the organizations would be paralyzed, and then intimidating them with improper inquiries to obtain donor information that could be used against them.

Tue Dec 23 17:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Report: IRS front office knew it was targeting tea party groups

The Daily Caller has obtained an advance copy of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report set to be released Tuesday morning that definitively proves malicious intent by the IRS to improperly block conservative groups that an IRS adviser deemed “icky.” (That’s right. “Icky.”)

From the quotes in the Daily Caller article, the big takeaways seem to be that anti-tea-party sentiment was fairly common and unremarkable throughout the IRS (including people other than Lerner describing the groups as "icky"), that there was widespread knowledge of the targeting, and that Congress would like to know about it but that the IRS would try to avoid telling them about it.

Personally, I would be reluctant to describe this as a bombshell just based on the quotes, but it's certainly big news -- and I haven't read the actual report, so we'll see.

The Blaze also has an article about the report, which includes this tantalizing tidbit:

It said efforts to cover up the scandal were ultimately led by Obama himself. Obama initially said the IRS’s actions were inexcusable, but later said there was not a “smidgen of corruption” at the IRS.

I agree with this as a matter of conclusion, but the evidence for it is not beyond a reasonable doubt; in fact there is little direct evidence of involvement by Obama, though Treasury, DoJ, and at least some White House staff seem implicated. If the report itself does have direct evidence, that would be a bombshell indeed.

UPDATE: Politico makes that point by pointing out the lack:

Missing from the report: evidence that the White House orchestrated a plot — a connection Republicans originally sought to make but later scaled back as they failed to find a smoking gun. But they still slam IRS officials for what they call biased behavior.

It is clear that IRS officials were not only engaging in bias, but also in deliberate harassment for political purposes. There are strong indications that other agencies were also involved in suppressing some groups. But most importantly, recent activity in a Cause of Action lawsuit points to 2,500 files worth of White House involvement. The day that the IRS was scheduled to release the information, it was seized by the Treasury.

Tue Dec 23 16:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Police do not want to be recorded

A techdirt article describes multiple recent incidents where the NYPD shut down people legally recording them against department policy, sometimes attempting to destroy evidence by deleting the recording.

If you are a police officer acting in accordance with the law and with justice, you should want more evidence, not less.

Tue Dec 23 15:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

US offers $5 million for terrorist it released from Guatanimo Bay

Years after liberating an Al Qaeda operative from the military prison at Guantanamo, the United States government has put him on a global terrorist list and offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

And if we capture him, what will we do with him? Send him back?

Mon Dec 22 17:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More IRS documents released; 99% still being withheld

The Treasury Department released four new redacted pages of documents about the White House’s role in the Internal Revenue Service targeting scandal, bringing the total number of pages released up to 31 — a whole one percent of the total number of pages.

I think the strategy here is to trickle the releases out over as long as possible, while keeping other things -- like, say, normalizing relations with Cuba -- in the news. At some point, they hope, people will get bored of the whole thing.

Mon Dec 22 16:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Not officer friendly anymore

A well-meaning friend of Chad Chadwick called the Missouri City, TX police to say that he was afraid that Chadwick was having emotional difficulties; the cops lied to a judge to say that they had reason to believe Chadwick was heavily armed, then they sent a SWAT-team to his house (where he was asleep in the tub), beat 11 kinds of shit out of him, gave him permanent hearing loss, held him in solitary confinement, fraudulently accused him of resisting arrest, and tried to have him imprisoned -- he was acquitted, but a judge wouldn't punish the cops or the DA, because "There is no freestanding constitutional right to be free from malicious prosecution."

The problem with SWAT raids is that they effectively presume not only guilt, but violent resistance, and punishes both in the process of the raid itself, even if the target is subsequently found not guilty of anything they were actually charged with.

Mon Dec 22 15:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

CDC tracking 1400 possible Ebola cases in US

Just because something like this disappears from the news doesn't mean it's disappeared from reality.

Mon Dec 22 14:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Queer Black Artist Group that cried wolf

When you have to fake incidents of racist hate, maybe it's time to realize that racist hate isn't really an important part of society anymore.

Mon Dec 22 13:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


Well, except Engvall is on the record promoting the idea that no civilian should be allowed to own an AK-47. He also said in that video that he’ll compromise with people calling for an outright repeal of the Second Amendment and ban guns that shoot too many rounds that would ruin meat while hunting.

This year's SHOT show headliner was supposed to be Jay Leno. When he canceled, the chosen replacement appears to be less than ideal.

Mon Dec 22 12:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A solution in search of a problem

Because North Korea hacked Sony's network and discovered that Hollywood executives say embarrassing things to each other in private, Obama thinks we need more controls on the internet. How about we start by bringing the NSA under control so they will stop subverting internet security to enable domestic surveillance projects?

Mon Dec 22 11:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

20 things you should know about the IRS

The IRS scandal started 587 days ago in May 2013, but it actually goes back years earlier. President Obama’s testy “not even a smidgen of corruption” remark to Fox News in February 2014 showed fatigue. There was simply no evidence that the IRS was used for political targeting, he made clear. Maybe, but here are 20 things every American taxpayer should know about it:

For once, a listicle that's worth reading.

Mon Dec 22 10:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Vermont is having trouble paying for single-payer

Business realities weighed heavily in Shumlin’s retreat. His experts calculated the state would need an 11.5 percent payroll tax and an additional income tax of up to 9.5 percent. That’s California-style taxation. “My health-care costs would have gone up by 61 percent if that plan had gone through,” Win Smith, the owner of the Sugarbush ski resort, told reporters. “If there were that 9 percent [income tax] on employees, many would have been paying more than they’re paying now. It would have been a lose-lose.” Shumlin admitted it would be irresponsible for him to be “pushing prematurely for single-payer” when “the risk of economic shock is too high at this time.”

People who expected government-run health care to be cheaper than private health care have always been delusional. It's just that, until recently, those delusions haven't impacted health care policy.

Mon Dec 22 09:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The New Barbarism

Sun Dec 21 13:03:37 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Republicans drafting legislation to enforce net neutrality

Congressional Republicans are drafting an "industry-backed proposal" to enforce net neutrality rules while preventing the Federal Communications Commission from reclassifying Internet service as a utility, The Washington Post reported today. The Republicans "appear likely to introduce legislation next month," the report said.

If you vote for a Democrat, you get net neutrality.

If you vote for a Republican, you also get net neutrality.

But the people mostly don't know what net neutrality is.

Who do we vote for if we want the government to leave the internet alone?

Who do we vote for if we want major public policy changes to be debated and negotiated in public before legislation is passed?

"None of the above" sounds about right.

Fri Dec 19 15:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Stopping assert forfeiture at the IRS

On December 10, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Ranking Member Sander Levin, D-Mich., introduced the Taxpayer Protections Against Abusive Seizures Act.

The act is a simple two-page bill. When the IRS seizes property under an alleged structuring scheme, the agency must return the property if the accused requests a hearing in court within 14 days of seizure. In order to maintain the law’s legitimate power against terrorists and money launderers, property is not returned to the accused if the court finds probable cause within 14 days. Of course, that is still enough time for many businesses to go under, but currently there is no protection at all.

I can see no reason why this legislation should not pass the House and the Senate as soon as they reconvene.

However, I do not actually expect that to happen.

In the gap between what I want to happen, and what I expect to happen, is a line that defines where representative government begins.

Fri Dec 19 11:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Lawsuit over San Diego police cell phone surveillance devices

A legal advocacy group has sued the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and the city of San Diego in an attempt to force the release of public records relating to stingrays, also known as cell-site simulators.

There is no justification for secrecy about these cell-phone interception devices. They are used by, and owned by, the public. While the details of a specific, current investigation might be confidential, the methods and technology should not be. Attempts to keep that secret are attempts to prevent an informed public debate on the merits and privacy implications of police surveillance, and as such, anathema to a free society.

Fri Dec 19 10:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bribing legislators to oppose Voter ID

Yes, it happens. Or at least, it allegedly happens enough to result in an indictment.

Fri Dec 19 09:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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