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How to lie to Congress and get away with it

Watts Up With ThatWhat else was happening that summer? What was the weather like that summer?

Believe it or not, we called the Weather Bureau and found out what historically was the hottest day of the summer. Well, it was June 6 or June 9 or whatever it was, so we scheduled the hearing that day, and bingo: It was the hottest day on record in Washington, or close to it. It was stiflingly hot that summer. [At] the same time you had this drought all across the country, so the linkage between the Hansen hearing and the drought became very intense.

And did you also alter the temperature in the hearing room that day?

… What we did it was went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right? So that the air conditioning wasn’t working inside the room and so when the, when the hearing occurred there was not only bliss, which is television cameras in double figures, but it was really hot. …

So Hansen’s giving this testimony, you’ve got these television cameras back there heating up the room, and the air conditioning in the room didn’t appear to work. So it was sort of a perfect collection of events that happened that day, with the wonderful Jim Hansen, who was wiping his brow at the witness table and giving this remarkable testimony.

This sort of trick is not legitimate science, and it's not practiced by legitimate scientists.

2016-09-25 09:14:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Hillary email admin refers to deletion of emails as a cover-up

PJMediaAn employee at Platte River Networks, the company that managed Hillary Clinton's emails after she left the State Department, sent a work ticket that referred to the "Hilary [sic] coverup [sic] operation" (Hillary cover-up operation) after Clinton's team had asked the company to modify her email system so that it would automatically delete messages after 60 days.

The FBI asked him about it and he said it was intended as a joke. Even if the comment was intended humorously, it was also accurate. And at this point, I feel confident that the FBI investigation, which granted immunity to five separate staffers, can also be accurately described as a joke.

2016-09-24 20:17:27.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Cheryl Mills and two of Hillary's other staff granted immunity

Weekly StandardA congressman says Hillary Clinton's former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and two other staff members were granted immunity deals in exchange for their cooperation in the now-closed FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (CHAY'-fits), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, tells the Associated Press that Mills gave federal investigators access to her laptop on the condition that findings couldn't be used against her. Chaffetz says, "No wonder they couldn't prosecute a case. They were handing out immunity deals like candy."

That's a total of five people granted immunity.

The problem here is that once the FBI gave all the aides immunity, they then declined to prosecute Hillary herself. Which defeats the point of giving aides immunity in return for testimony. However, it does ensure that Congress can't threaten those aides to force them to testify. The FBI is using immunity deals to obstruct justice.

2016-09-24 13:03:55.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama used a pseudonym when communicating with Hillary's private server

PoliticoPresident Barack Obama used a pseudonym in email communications with Hillary Clinton and others, according to FBI records made public Friday.

The disclosure came as the FBI released its second batch of documents from its investigation into Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

So there are a couple reasons this is a big deal. The pseudonym itself is actually a minor one. People in the Obama administration using pseudonyms (in some cases to avoid FOIA requests) has been very common, but this is the first time we've had it confirmed that Obama was using one.

That's how Politico headlines the article, but they are burying the lede. There's much more significance here.

(Read More...)

2016-09-24 13:03:49.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Putin has Hillary's emails

The Smoking GunThe FBI’s Hillary Clinton investigation turned up evidence that her e-mail accounts were targeted in multiple “spear phishing” attacks, one of which may have tricked the then-Secretary of State into clicking a malicious link included in the correspondence... The FBI report then picks up with this statement: “Open source information indicated, if opened, the targeted user’s device may have been infected, and information would have been sent to at least three computers overseas, including one in Russia.”

She clicked on a porn link.

Yes, really.

2016-09-24 09:14:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

USA today suspends Instapundit's column for a month...

USA TodayI have always supported peaceful protests, speaking out against police militarization and excessive police violence in my USA TODAY columns, on my website and on Twitter itself. I understand why people misunderstood my tweet and regret that I was not clearer.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee who tweets as @instapundit, writes twice a week for USA TODAY. His column has been suspended for one month.

... and oh by the way, it's the month right before the election, don't you know. I wonder if that had anything to do with it.

Funny how Twitter can suspend people who advocate for self-defense in the course of escaping a riot, but can't seem to suspend ISIS recruiters and people who call for cop killings.

UPDATE: The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is on the case. They do good work and Glenn has sent more than a few links their way in the past.

2016-09-23 22:21:36.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Trump doesn't want to take your guns away

USA Today"You know, [the police are] proactive and if they see a person possibly with a gun or they think may have a gun, they will see the person and they'll look and they'll take the gun away," said Trump said. “They will stop, they will frisk, and they will take the gun away, and they don’t have anything to shoot with.”

USA Today is trying to push the narrative that Trump won't do well on the gun issue, so gun rights advocates shouldn't vote for him. It's a more effective strategy than trying to get gun control advocates to vote against him, because gun control advocates are too few and not motivated enough to make up a major influence among voters. (Their political influence comes from billionaire donors and astroturf, not real support).

I think gun owners are smart enough to not be deceived by Trump's vocalized support for "stop and frisk", a somewhat controversial law enforcement policy. He's talking about police stopping people who they think might be carrying a gun and searching them. If they are carrying a gun illegally -- unlicensed carry, or a felon in possession, or likely both -- then the gun is confiscated, and the person can be arrested and charged with a crime.

The policy is controversial for good reasons. How can a police officer detect a gun AND the lack of a legal license to carry it on someone he doesn't recognize? It pretty much boils down to behavioral cues, which are subjective, and race, which is illegal. But it's a long way from "taking guns away" in the usual sense, that is, police conducting door-to-door home invasions to search and confiscate lawfully owned guns from peaceful citizens.

The best part is that Trump, as President, won't really be able to do much one way or the other about stop and frisk policies. Those are under the control of the local police, not the federal government or the president.

So while I doubt Trump will be great on gun rights, this particular statement doesn't bother me. Especially since I know Hillary would cheerfully authorize the door-to-door version.

2016-09-23 22:16:59.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Media Bias about education

There's a new study out from a think tank run by Hillary Clinton's campaign director claiming Trump's plan to make cuts at the Department of Education would cost a lot of teachers their jobs. As in, half a million of them.

The Department of Education doesn't employ any teachers.

Public schools are funded by the states.

Trump's plan, if enacted, would fire a bunch of useless idiots and save some money.

2016-09-23 09:14:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

It's time to find (or make) a twitter alternative

They suspended the Instapundit twitter account for suggesting drivers not sit in their cars waiting to be dragged out of them and killed.

I think that being caught in your car on a highway surrounded by such a mob trying to get you out of your car is a deadly force threat (disparity of numbers, fires, other cars presenting hazards, etc, etc). While it's a good idea to look for ways to avoid the situation, once you're caught in it, driving your way out through the rioters if necessary seems like a horrible but legally defensible choice. (This is not legal advice. I am not a lawyer.)

It's really looking like we need a free-speech alternative to twitter.

UPDATE: The left is going after his day job over three words. This is obviously an effort to silence effective advocacy during the elections.

2016-09-22 10:51:57.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton Interrogatory Number 10

Judicial WatchDuring your tenure as Secretary of State, how did you manage and preserve emails in your clintonemail.com email account sent or received in the course of conducting official State Department business, and what, if anything, did you do to make those emails available to the Department for conducting searches in response to FOIA requests?

The only thing she can really say here is that she contacted people at the State Department using their .gov address so that State's system could pick up the email from their account. Which, obviously, it did not. Worse, that's obviously not true for Huma (who also had an account on the Clinton server) and possibly her other aides. It's also not helpful with respect to anyone not at the State Department (even if they are at other government agencies, Hillary's emails are the responsibility of the State Department).

2016-09-22 09:58:03.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama to push climate change after leaving office

The HillPresident Obama says he plans to keep pushing for action on climate change after his presidency ends in January.

During a tour of Midway Atoll near Hawaii on Thursday, Obama told The New York Times that he plans to use his “megaphone that even an ex-president has” to raise awareness and craft policies designed to combat climate change after he leaves office.

What he means is that he's going to cash in by giving a lot of speeches about climate change. It's probably a step down from the position as UN General Secretary that he was expecting, but a failed president is hard to put into that slot and it has become pretty obvious that Obama is a failed president.

Frankly I think climate change is on the way out as an issue too, but there may be enough time left for Obama to cash in. Or maybe he just couldn't find anything better.

2016-09-22 09:14:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton Interrogatory Number 9

Judicial WatchDuring your tenure as Secretary of State, did you understand that email you sent or received in the course of conducting official State Department business was subject to FOIA?

There's no good answer to this one. She'll use a variation of "yes, but..." to give an excuse.

2016-09-21 10:44:34.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

First Presidential Forum to be moderated by Clinton Global Initiative member

It's not a debate, it's two people who appear on the same stage in front of the same audience... but not at the same time. In other words, the Hillary campaign is afraid Trump will talk over her, interrupt her, correct her lies and misleading statements, and generally act like a strong and dominant alpha male. But if Hillary is the best the feminists can offer, shouldn't she be able to handle him?

Apparently not.

Being a "notable past member" of the Clinton Global Initiative costs $20,000 in cash or in-kind favors from journalists. Per year, I think.

2016-09-21 09:14:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Always wait for the full story...

AOL.comPutney, the police chief, told reporters that Scott wasn't believed to be the person police were seeking on the outstanding warrant, "but we do not know if he was connected."

"At this point, all we know [is] they're in the apartment complex parking lot, and this subject gets out with a weapon," Putney said. "They engage him, and one of the officers felt a lethal threat and fired his weapon because of that."

... but just this part looks pretty bad for the police. He wasn't the guy they were looking for, and they aren't alleging he did anything threatening other than being armed and getting out of his vehicle. No one is saying he was holding the gun or pointing it at police that I've seen. Could be an honest citizen with the legal right to be armed.

2016-09-21 08:44:24.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dishonesty and lies

Some people are blaming Congress for not passing Zika funding.

The HillThe solution is within reach and all Congress needs to do is their job. With each passing day of inaction, safety measures that could stop the virus from spreading are not taken and more Americans are being put at unnecessary risk. The sad irony is that many of those playing politics with Zika funding are the same congressional leaders who purport to care for the health of the unborn. If ever there was a time to put safety before politics--it is now. LULAC urges Congress to do the job that the American people elected them do and vote on legislation that will fund measures to protect vulnerable Americans from Zika threats.

I don't particularly support passing a lot of extra money to fund efforts against Zika. Why can't the Center for Disease Control use their normal budget to control disease?

But ok, let's assume Zika is especially threatening and that for some reason we can't just start using DDT to eradicate mosquitoes.

The hold up on Zika funding comes from two sources: Obama spent previously allocated Zika funds on a climate change treaty and Senate Democrats are insisting that new Zika funds go to Planned Parenthood, even though Planned Parenthood doesn't do anything related to Zika. Pretty much all Planned Parenthood does is abortions, with a side order of non-abortion baby killing.

So blaming the Republicans in Congress for not passing Zika funding is literally blaming them for refusing to roll over and fund a Democrat priority that has nothing to do with addressing the problem.

And that's pretty much the same story every single time. Hell, the Democrats have even done it with Planned Parenthood within the last year or so.

UPDATE: A reader vigorously informs me in email that Planned Parenthood offers a wide variety of valuable services at low prices for feminine medical and reproductive health needs. Not being female, I will leave that claim to stand or fall on its own merit. It does not do anything related to Zika, however.

2016-09-20 22:41:00.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another known wolf attack

The New York bomber was reported to the FBI as a terrorist in 2014. He was "cleared" (obviously in error) after the father "recanted".

The bomber's wife, a native of Pakistan, left the country before the bombings.

The bomber himself is a naturalized US citizen... originally from Afghanistan.

2016-09-20 21:40:56.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Stabber jihadi stopped by competitive shooter and concealed-carrier

Bearing ArmsUSPSA Shooter, 3-Gunner, and NRA-certified firearms instructor Jason Falconer has been identified as the man who shot and killed a 22-year-old Somali immigrant who went on a stabbing rampage inside a St. Cloud, (MN) Mall on Saturday.

The apparent terrorist—who apparently asked victims if they were Muslims before stabbing them—was engaged by Falconer inside the mall.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that armed citizens don't stop attacks.

Hat tip to SaysUncle

2016-09-20 21:10:26.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton Interrogatory Number 8

Judicial WatchAfter President Obama nominated you to be Secretary of State and during your tenure as secretary, did you expect the State Department to receive FOIA requests for or concerning your email?

If she says no she's an idiot; if she says yes she's a criminal. No simple way out of this one that should lead the White House. She'll probably say she thought that by emailing State employees at their official email addresses her email would be stored in "the system". That's an abdication of her personal responsibility to preserve the records, and it's also not how the system works.

2016-09-20 10:46:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A new wrinkle in the Hillary email controversy...

It turns out that the IT guy responsible for maintaining Clinton's server, one of those granted immunity by the FBI, was asking for advice on how to do it on reddit. And when people noticed, and figured out his identity, he started deleting his posts.

As in many other matters related to Hillary's email server, the timing matters and is enough to imply motive. The tech started asking about removing a "VERY VIP" email address from certain messages -- presumably to avoid providing those messages in response to subpoenas or FOIA requests -- right after the Benghazi committee started asking for those messages.

UPDATE: A House panel is looking into it now.

2016-09-20 10:46:15.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Remington and Glock sue MA AG for abuse of power

Boston GlobeAttorney General Maura Healey has launched a sweeping investigation into possible safety problems involving guns manufactured by at least two major companies, Remington and Glock, according to lawsuits filed by both firms, which are fighting Healey’s efforts.

The lawsuits reveal that this year, Healey invoked her powers under the state’s consumer protection law to demand that both companies turn over a wide range of documents, including safety-related complaints from customers and the companies’ responses.

[Emphasis added in bold above]

Notice the difference between the media spin and what is really going on here. The Globe reports that MA AG is investigating two gun manufacturers, in what appears to be a secret effort similar to the RICO conspiracy to investigate energy companies for not agreeing with Democrats on climate change. What's really going on is that two gun manufacturers are suing the MA AG to block her document demands.

Adding insult to insult, her state does not allow Glocks to be sold to consumers, only to police, and the AG doesn't care if the sales were legal or not:

Boston GlobeBut Healey says that, despite the state’s ban, 10,000 Glocks were sold in Massachusetts between January 2014 and August 2015, including 8,000 to buyers who do not appear to be law-enforcement officers. She said the handguns ended up in the hands of Massachusetts consumers “irrespective of whether the sales were made legally or not.”

And as for Remington:

Boston GlobeRemington Arms Co., based in Madison, N.C., contends Healey’s investigation is “unreasonable and excessively burdensome” because she is seeking product files from every state and country, even though fewer than 1 percent of the files relate to Massachusetts customers.

This is plainly using the legal process to persecute political opponents during the run up to an election. And it's on top of her earlier efforts to attack gun owners and manufacturers, including an illegal expansion of the state's assault weapons ban.

2016-09-20 09:14:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Clinton Interrogatory Number 7

Judicial WatchYour campaign website states, “When Clinton got to the Department, she opted to use her personal email account as a matter of convenience.” What factors other than convenience did you consider in deciding to use a personal email account to conduct official State Department business? Include in your answer whether you considered federal records management and preservation requirements and how email you used to conduct official State Department business would be searched in response to FOIA requests.

Another question with no good answer. If she didn't consider any of those things, she's incompetent or deliberately avoiding FOIA. If she did consider them, and still decided to use a private email server, then either her intent was to avoid FOIA or she's incompetent. Her answer will probably be that she thought emailing people on their own official government addresses would be sufficient, which is demonstrably incorrect but probably the least damaging line of defense.

It's also not the truth.

2016-09-19 10:52:42.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Is there a secret pact to allow African migrants into the US through Mexico?

Judicial WatchHerds of African immigrants are being housed in shelters in the Mexican border town of Tijuana while they await entry into the United States under what appears to be a secret accord between the Obama administration, Mexico and the Central American countries the Africans transited on their journey north. A backlog of African migrants is overwhelming limited shelter space in Tijuana and Mexican officials blame the slow pace of U.S. immigration authorities in the San Isidro port of entry for granting only 50 asylum solicitations daily.

"Only" 50 people a day we can't vet, who probably can't speak english or work any job more skilled than manual labor, and who get a free all-expenses paid welfare pass for being refugees. How does allowing these people into our country benefit us?

It only took 19 hijackers to kill 3000 people. What kind of disaster are we setting ourselves up for?

Do note, too: this is technically "legal" immigration.

2016-09-19 09:14:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Birther Controversy

I'm going to deal with this only very briefly because its resurgence now is little more than an irrelevant distraction from real issues. Obama is not running for President. Hillary Clinton is. Hillary Clinton started and heavily pushed the idea that Obama was not a natural born citizen. She may or may not have been correct about that. Once Obama was elected and took office, the point was effectively moot.

I was concerned about the issue during Obama's first run for president on the basis of evidence presented, because I believed (and still believed) that constitutional principles and requirements for office matter and should be followed. All candidates should be required to establish that they are constitutionally eligible for office. None of these things are based on race. Hillary may or may not be a racist, but her raising concerns about Obama's eligibility due to his birthplace were not based on race. They were based on the desire to win a primary election.

I don't know why Trump raised the same concerns. I can think of a number of possible reasons. He wasn't running against Obama in a primary, but he was IN a primary and attacking the sitting president is one way to get attention when running in a primary of the opposing party. You could call it a test run of the immigration issue, one that failed that year but succeeded in updated form in 2016. You could also call it many other things, including some that are conspiracy theories in and of themselves. I don't know.

What I do know is that Hillary attacking Trump as racist for having forced Obama to release a copy of his long-form birth certificate is absurd. If true, how much more racist does it make Hillary herself for originating the idea?

2016-09-18 17:44:51.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The real origin of the IRS targeting remains unknown

Daily CallerAn FBI investigation missed the IRS official who first set in motion the illegal targeting of conservative and tea party non-profit groups applying for tax exemption, documents obtained by a government watchdog group reveal.

An internal IRS document prohibited the targeted applicants from being approved automatically for tax exemption, and agency officials were told to send all such applications to the Orwellian-named Group 7822 to await additional guidance, FBI interviews obtained by Judicial Watch show.

It’s still unclear who authored the internal document that established Group 7822 and who ordered targeted applications be sent to Group 7822.

I've reported on this before when the news was a few weeks fresher. My guess is that the author of that document and likely head of Group 7822 is the guy who was running the IRS' document production, IRS General Counsel William Wilkins. If you had a novel legal question about how to treat suspected political nonprofits, you'd send it to the general counsel. And the general counsel then sends out an email saying "Give all these cases to me until we figure out what to do with them." And then he never does figure out what to do with them, so "DC becomes a black hole".

William Wilkins is likely the black hole in the IRS.

And Lerner?

She's in it up to her neck, but she's the one who publicly falls on her sword to protect William Wilkins, because William Wilkins leads straight to Obama's White House... and with William Wilkins running document production for Congress, he can make damn sure nothing pointing past Lerner gets produced.

And we're not seeing this on the news pushed by prominent Republicans because at least some prominent Republicans were likely involved, using the Tea Party name to run political scams and protect incumbents.

2016-09-18 09:14:31.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What a day

Pipe bombs in New Jersey, improvised explosive devices in New York, and a meat cleaver attack.

UPDATE: Another suspicious package in New Jersey, and some suspects in New York bombing arrested.

2016-09-17 23:26:27.0 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]
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