Katie Couric's political attack on gun ownership

Washington Post quoting Van CleaveOn the question where our members were asked, “So without background checks, how do you keep guns out of the hands of felons?”: it shows our members just sitting there and then one looking down. The editors merged some “b-roll” of our members sitting quietly between questions, followed by Katie asking the felon question. I have the audio of that entire interview and I know for an absolute fact that our members immediately jumped in to answer the question and did NOT just sit there quietly. To the person watching the video, it gave the intentionally false appearance of no one in our group having an answer. Am I supposed to think that is good journalism, Kristin? I hope that in your heart of hearts that you are at least thinking to yourself, “no, it is not.”

It's not good journalism as ordinary people measure it, but it's "good journalism" as practiced by journalists. Except that she got caught.

Mon May 30 12:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Legislation to allow for special prosecutors

AMI NewswireA Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, part of the committee considering an impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, is introducing legislation to re-authorize the use of independent counsels to prosecute certain government-corruption cases.

Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania said during the congressional hearing on alleged misconduct by Koskinen that the appointment of an independent counsel, or special prosecutor, would allow lawmakers another avenue to address conflicts between the executive and legislative branches.

“As a result of what has taken place with the IRS, and how untruthful they’ve been, I am personally moving forward to drop legislation that re-enacts Title 6 of Ethics in Government Act of 1978, where independent counsel can be appointed to investigate these matters so justice can be served,” Marino said Tuesday.

I think this is a vitally necessary act, but of course Obama will veto it if it reaches his desk before a Republican president is elected.

There must be a way to hold Executive Branch officials accountable for their actions even when the president does not approve.

Mon May 30 11:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The failure of the rule of law is contagious

First, IRS employee Lois Lerner targeted the political opposition from Washington DC. Then she destroyed her hard drive to hide the evidence of her misbehavior, with similar mysterious equipment failures affecting almost 20 of her friends and colleagues, and pled the 5th before Congress. Rather than expose the wrongdoing, IRS Comissioner Koskinen lied to Congress and destroyed the server backup tapes. When Koskinen faced no consequences for his deception, the CIA destroyed the only copy of the classified report on the torture techniques it used. Now, the NYPD has "lost" records of its unconstitutional domestic surveillance in defiance of a court order.

This sort of thing is going to happen more and more often until it becomes obvious that there will be serious consequences rather than a successful coverup.

Mon May 30 10:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DOJ blasted by federal judge for lying to the court

Power LineIn other words, French explains, the Obama administration launched its executive amnesty program behind the court’s back, and lied about it — ultimately granting lawful residence to more than 100,000 illegal immigrants until the court halted the program with an injunction. If the government had told the truth, the state plaintiffs (including Texas) would have been able to seek a temporary restraining order to attempt to block the program.

National ReviewIn response, the court ordered the DOJ to provide lists of each affected illegal alien in each of the plaintiff states, required each DOJ attorney who practices in each of the plaintiff states to take additional legal ethics courses for a period of five years, and ordered the Attorney General to produce a comprehensive plan for ensuring that similar misconduct will not occur in the future. The court did not have the power to disbar the individual lawyers who made the misrepresentations, but it did revoke their permission to appear in the case. The DOJ’s conduct is an example of lies compounding lawlessness. The Obama administration circumvented Congress by attempting mass-scale executive amnesty via memorandum, then its lawyers attempted to circumvent judicial accountability by lying to a federal judge. And through it all, the administration and its defenders are unashamed — because, after all, when it comes to matters of social justice, the ends justify the means.

The outgoing administration is clearly doing everything they can to put their thumb on the scale and swing the next election their way. We used to think that sort of thing was improper and impeached presidents who tried it.

Mon May 30 09:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

State Department Inspector General's Clinton email report has leaked

Bits and pieces are already starting to leak, including a story of a staffer who questioned the Clinton email arrangements and was told to never speak of it again. That's evidence to support not just negligence, but knowing and deliberate disregard for the rules pertaining to classified information. In other words, the Clinton operation knew their arrangement was improper, did it anyway, and did their best to keep it secret.

More than that, the IG concluded that:
Clinton violated the Federal Records Act with her server arrangement
Did not cooperate with the investigation
Did not turn over records as required
Worse, she claimed to turn over her records, but the IG located records she should have turned over that were not (meaning she lied about what she deleted)

Even the Washington Post editorial board calls her server inexcusable.

One telling quote that ended up in the report:
ObserverWhy the reluctance to obey the law? The OIG found an email in which Ms. Clinton tells her deputy chief of staff for operations, “I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.” This appears on document page 38 and leads to footnote 152. Tactical and operational dodging? Looks like it.

Anyone who has worked in or for a government agency in any capacity, and often large corporations, gets regular training on how to preserve records and properly handle sensitive information. That training pretty much universally specifies that the computer (or other devices) which the government provides to you for communication is still owned by the government and the contents of that device can be reviewed. Those instructions generally note that the way to avoid having the government review everything is to use separate accounts for your official business and your personal affairs.

That is, to "avoid any risk of the personal being accessible", Clinton should have rigorously maintained separation of her personal business on a personal device from her official business on an official device.

Instead, she chose to conduct both personal and public business on a private server. This was exactly the wrong decision because it destroys the separation that is intended to protect the personal privacy of government employees. And that's before getting into whether any of those emails were classified.

Fri May 27 11:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

About that voter fraud that doesn't exist

CBS Los AngelesA comparison of records by David Goldstein, investigative reporter for CBS2/KCAL9, has revealed hundreds of so-called dead voters in Southern California, a vast majority of them in Los Angeles County.

Cenkner died in Palmdale in 2003. Despite this, records show that he somehow
voted from the grave in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

But he’s not the only one.

CBS2 compared millions of voting records from the California Secretary of State’s office with death records from the Social Security Administration and found hundreds of so-called dead voters.

What this demonstrates is that voter fraud is not an isolated incident or a simple mistake. Voter fraud is an organized, regular activity. Hundreds of dead voters (and those are just the obvious, easily discovered ones) voting in pretty much every election.

Solving the problem of dead voter is easy enough. These people should be removed from the rolls when they die, not allowed to remain and used for fraudulent election practices. But they are likely only the tip of the iceberg. How many elections have already been stolen?

We will never know until we start taking voter fraud seriously.

Hat tip to John Lott

Fri May 27 10:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Terrorists in Europe stockpiling weapons and explosives

EU ObserverManuel Navarrete Paniagua, the head of the European Counter Terrorism Centre at the EU police agency Europol, told euro-deputies on Monday (23 May) that terrorist cells in the EU were likely stockpiling explosives for later use.

"We have some information reported by the member states that terrorists groups are trying to establish large clandestine stockpiles of explosives in the European Union to be used eventually in large scale home attacks," he said.

There have been multiple incidents reported in the US which suggest that similar efforts are in play here. But probably the most jaw-dropping line in the article was this one:

EU ObserverAuthorities have yet to nail down any single profile of a home-grown terrorist or foreign fighter. But he said many have petty criminal backgrounds. He pointed out a significant proportion of foreign fighters have also been diagnosed with mental problems.

Has he noticed that 100% of the home-grown terrorists and foreign fighters have been diagnosed with a terminal case of Islam?

Fri May 27 09:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DOJ diverting settlements into slush fund for liberal politics

Daily CallerDepartment of Justice officials diverted millions of dollars slated for victims of the 2008 housing meltdown to politically favored third parties, including “left-wing radical groups,” according to the chairman of a House of Representatives oversight subcommittee.

Rep. Sean Duffy, a Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Financial Services oversight and investigations subcommittee, said Friday the officials “skimmed” off three percent from mortgage-related bank settlements. This created what he called a $500 million “slush fund” that could be steered toward favored groups.

I feel like I'm mentioned this before, but maybe that was a different DOJ slush fund build from lawsuit settlements. This is yet another case of the administration circumventing the Congressional power of the purse. And it's far from the only example. It is just now coming to light that the Obama administration took $500 milliom from allocated funds for foreign aid and redirected it to the UN's Green Climate Fund... after Congress specifically declined to allocate money to that fund.

Thu May 26 12:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Koskinen declines to appear at own impeachment hearing

PoliticoIRS Commissioner John Koskinen will not appear Tuesday at a “misconduct” hearing at which Republicans will lay out a case to impeach him for allegedly failing to comply with a congressional subpoena, the IRS told POLITICO.

I can understand why he wouldn't want to show up for his ritual humiliation, especially when he would be asking to defend his own basically indefensible actions. But when you've done wrong, you can choose to duck the issue and hide like a coward, or face the music and admit wrongdoing. Clearly, Koskinen has chosen the coward's path.

You can watch the hearing here.

He did submit written testimony, though.

Washington Times[Koskinen] said his months long delay in informing Congress of the Lerner hard drive crash was because he wanted to investigate the matter within the IRS first, before making “a full and timely report” to watchdogs.

To me, that right there is an admission of lying to Congress to obstruct justice. Remember, he told Congress repeatedly even after he knew emails were missing that he would produce all of Lerner's emails. If he knew they were missing, knew that was suspicious, knew that he would need to investigate the matter, and knew that he would need to report the missing emails to IRS watchdogs, then why would he lie to Congress and delay reporting the loss while he investigated -- unless his investigation was for the purposes of covering up the evidence before the watchdog, which he did not control, became involved?

And remember, too -- the server backup tapes were destroyed after Koskinen learned of the problem, while he was presumably investigating.

Thu May 26 11:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Caller claiming to be IRS official says he went after conservative political groups

Free BeaconA self-identified IRS employee admitted he would go after, target and try to end conservative groups who wanted to abolish the IRS, to Cleta Mitchell, an attorney representing those groups, on a Washington Journal segment on C-SPAN.

Take with a grain of salt, because I don't think the identity can be verified, and it sounds sort of like he was speaking hypothetically.

Thu May 26 10:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Legislation introduced to strip IRS agents of badges and guns

McClatchyDCA bill introduced Thursday by U.S. Rep. George Holding, R-Raleigh, would “take the guns and badges away from the IRS,” he said. Holding’s bill proposes reassigning the IRS’ criminal investigation agents to the U.S. Treasury.

This is one of those pieces of reform legislation that really makes me question whether reform legislation will actually accomplish anything. Sure, having armed IRS agents (and probably a special IRS-branded SWAT team like every other federal agency) is a bad idea. Actual use of force from law enforcement agents should be narrowly concentrated in just a few closely supervised agencies, not spread out to every single petty administrator. But taking the same group of people currently at the IRS, and moving those same people to the US Treasury, seems like a shell game. Is the Treasury less populated by Democrat partisans? Less subject to bias? More closely supervised? Probably not.

The logic behind this legislation appears to be "We must do something. This is something. Let's do it."

It may be a marginal improvement, but as far as reform proposals go, I'm not impressed.

Thu May 26 09:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How ordinary people who mistreat classified documents are treated

SpiegelNow he was being arrested by armed officers and charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 and threatened with 35 years in prison. He also lost his security clearance and, with it, his career -- all because of trying to sound the alarm from the inside as a whistleblower using official channels he had trusted. Among the allegations against Drake were that he had leaked classified information to a reporter at the Baltimore Sun -- a claim he denied. He also stood accused of saving an NSA document on his private computer.

Allegedly leaking classified information to a reporter and allegedly saving a single NSA document on his private computer, and he was arrested and charged with crimes carrying penalties up to 35 years in prison. How many times each day do you think Hillary Clinton leaks classified information to a reporter? And we're up to a couple thousand counts of "classified information on her private server" already.

Some of my readers insist that Hillary won't be charged because what she did isn't that serious. I think, when looked at with the same criteria as applied to ordinary employees subject to the same rules, it's obvious that what Hillary did was far more serious than anyone in the media is reporting.

Wed May 25 12:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fast and Furious documents reveal obstruction of Congress

New York PostA federal judge has forced the release of more than 20,000 pages of emails and memos previously locked up under President Obama’s phony executive-privilege claim. A preliminary review shows top Obama officials deliberately obstructing congressional probes into the border gun-running operation.

“Calculated efforts were made by senior officials to obstruct Congress,” Chaffetz fumed.

“Over the course of the investigation,” he recounted, “the Justice Department has provided false information, stonewalled document requests, produced scores of blacked-out pages and duplicate documents and refused to comply with two congressional subpoenas.”

This doesn't surprise anyone who has been paying attention. This whole administration has been a continuous series of coverups and distractions from scandals with more scandals or outrageous "pen and phone" agenda items.

Wed May 25 11:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Has the GOP establishment learned anything?

Kurt SchlichterBut you won’t learn from your humiliation. Instead, you’ll tell yourselves comforting lies to avoid facing the painful truth. You’ll tell yourself that the base is just stupid, that they’ve been hypnotized by Trump’s magic and don’t understand that he’s a charlatan. But there’s no one who doesn’t know exactly what Trump is, and the most important things that he is are that he is not Hillary and that he is not one of you.

You call the voters “angry,” as if that somehow invalidates their critique. You made them angry with your lies. Your incompetence. Your betrayals. You did it.

Kurt doesn't think they learned anything, and his analysis about the rise of Trump seems to be spot on.

Now, I still think Trump is basically a con man lying to the Republican base, but I think the base is mostly angry enough that they don't care. Trump was the one speaking loudly and forcefully about immigration and trade -- issues on which the Republican party was weak and distrusted already. Even Cruz has weakened his position on those issues and made himself vulnerable to accusations of being an insider simply by virtue of his presence in the Senate (never mind that people who had been paying attention knew otherwise).

When you know that every establishment candidate in the race will betray you and is lying to you, at least Trump was the one telling the right lies loudest. People were angry and didn't want the sane, responsible, thoughtful man with the right policies. They wanted an avatar for their anger, and they got one. It's not about Trump as a man, it's about anger and betrayal.

If Trump loses, someone else may be able to pick up the torch. I don't think Trump gets a second shot.

If Trump wins, and betrays the trust of the people who elected him.. well, I don't know what will happen, but I don't think it will be pretty.

And if Trump keeps his promises, maybe the establishment will start paying attention.

Wed May 25 10:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Buying positive media coverage

APA group the White House recently identified as a key surrogate in selling the Iran nuclear deal gave National Public Radio $100,000 last year to help it report on the pact and related issues, according to the group's annual report. It also funded reporters and partnerships with other news outlets.

Even when the media aren't being paid shills for Democrats, they are a long ways from being fair. But this is a new low.

UPDATE: A new new low.

Weekly StandardThe last complete fiscal year, 2015, eighteen departments or agencies signed 50 different agreements [with Politco's parent company] for a grand total of $710,044, a 64 percent increase over 2014. This fiscal year, 2016 (beginning in October 2015), the total so far is $271,000.

Note that Politico is not alone; the New York Times and Washington Post have also received similar sums in past years, though their trend lines are downwards. The mainstream media have become a government supported propaganda organization.

Wed May 25 09:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Business as usual at the IRS

TaxProf Blog quoting the Wall Street JournalThe federal judges hearing the appeal, among them David B. Sentelle and Douglas H. Ginsburg, weren’t so easily rolled. In a series of probing questions the judges ascertained that at least two of the groups that are party to the lawsuit have still not received their nonprofit approvals. The judges determined that those two groups are 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups, which are subject to far less scrutiny than 501(c)(3) charities, yet are still being harassed by the IRS five years later. The judges were told that not only are the groups still on ice, but that their actions are still being “monitored” by the federal government.

As one lawyer for the plaintiffs noted, despite the IRS’s claim that it got rid of its infamous targeting lists, there is “absolutely no showing” that the agency has in fact stopped using the underlying “criteria” that originally “identified and targeted for mistreatment based on political views.”

Congress has utterly failed to stop the IRS from abusing the tax laws to target the political opposition to the current administration. Perhaps the courts will do better, but the wheels of justice grind too slowly for politics.

Tue May 24 12:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gun control legislation in California

Tue May 24 11:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Does Hillary believe in UFOs?

Enough to promise she will reveal the truth if she is elected, at least. That promise seems a bit counterproductive when trying to win an election, though, as voters who think you are crazy probably outnumber those who believe in alien abductions.

The really devastating counterargument here, though, is that Hillary spent 8 years married to the President. If there is some sort of secret alien conspiracy in the US government, she should know about it already.

Tue May 24 10:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A possible libertarian alternative

Austin Petersen is also asking for the Libertarian nomination. I'm not familiar with him yet, but I'll take a look.

Tue May 24 09:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama admin wanted to confiscate guns from veterans and social security recipients

Shall Not Be QuestionedThe Obama Administration bureaucratic process for reporting veterans and social security recipient would seem to violate this ruling, and even current ATF regulation. There is no adjudication, and no finding of dangerousness. According to Chris, the Administration even wanted to send agents door-to-door to confiscate and possibly prosecute veterans who owned guns. The NRA convinced them to call that off.

Wow. Never let anyone claim that no one wants to take your guns.

I've reported on the underlying effort by the Obama administration to declare people who want or need financial help administering their social security or veteran's administration benefits as "mentally incompetent" and add them to the NICS list to deny firearms purchases. Legislation has been introduced to stop it, but has predictably gone nowhere with a toothless Senate filled with surrender-happy RINOs. I've even said that I suspected the Obama Administration would love to use this as an excuse to perform actual confiscations to prevent those firearms from being passed down in estates.

It looks like I was right, and it was a very close call with the NRA working behind the scenes to prevent it.

Read the whole thing.

Mon May 23 12:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sotomayor advocates for forced labor

National Law JournalU.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Monday that all lawyers should be required to provide pro bono legal services. "I believe in forced labor" when it comes to improving access to justice for the poor, she said during an appearance at the American Law Institute's annual meeting in Washington. "If I had my way, I would make pro bono service a requirement."

I guess the Left has gone full circle back to indentured servitude. If this is the wisdom Obama's "wise Latina" has to offer the court, I suggest she keep it to herself.

Mon May 23 11:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

We're doomed

Second Amendment FoundationThe Second Amendment Foundation today announced the hiring of Seattle resident Scott Warren to be its Projects Director, effective immediately.

Warren is a 2013 graduate of Western Washington University in Bellingham with a degree in political science.

One of our major civil rights organizations is hiring people at the director level who take five years to graduate with a political science degree and have only three years of experience?

This is concerning to me, but maybe I'm misreading the situation somehow.

Mon May 23 10:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Interview with a witness to the Bataclan massacre

Mon May 23 09:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The new cake mafia: legal guidance on misgendering customers

Washington TimesGreeting customers as "Mr." or "Mrs." -- or even not using the pronoun "ze" or "zir" -- could prove costly for New York City businesses under rules drafted by Mayor Bill de Blasio's bureaucrats.

The Gotham mayor's Commission on Human Rights says entities that fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns and titles are in violation of the law and could be subject to penalties of up to $250,000.

The lawsuits sparked by this "guidance" will be even more lucrative for the loony left and their armies of trial lawyers than the cake mafia.

Sat May 21 09:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Resolution introduced to censure Koskinen

The House has introduced a resolution to condemn and censure IRS Commissioner Koskinen for his role in the successful cover up of any White House role in the IRS Tea-Party targeting operation.

This will probably pass both the House and the Senate because the only substantial thing it does is ask Koskinen to resign (he will politely decline, of course) and forfeit his pension. I'm not certain if forfeiting his pension will require a Senate vote or be subject to a veto, but normally House censure motions do not require either.

Full resolution below the fold.

It is worth noting that the resolution to censure Koskinen, despite it's strong language, actually represents a failure to impeach, although the Daily Caller claims an attempt to impeach will follow. I fear many Congressmen will use the censure vote as cover for failing to impeach later.

(Read More...)

Fri May 20 10:31:24 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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