It seems that the new Senate Majority Leader failed to replace Senate Parliamentarian MacDonough when he "took control" of the Senate after the 2014 elections. Now, MacDonough claims that Obamacare, which the Democrats had to pass using a technique called reconciliation with less than 60 votes, cannot be repealed through the same mechanism.
But McConnell doesn't want to do it:
In other words, McConnell doesn't want to repeal it. He just wants to run on repealing it. Forever.
And that means he's either betrayed the people who elected him, or is being blackmailed with NSA intercept data. Or both; it could easily be both.
Not that this is news. It's just nice to point out the details occasionally.
Because the Middle East does such a good job getting along with each other before they acquired doomsday weapons. And it's not like half the nations there are run by insanely rich sponsors of terrorism or anything.
Chicago police still running secret interrogation and detention facility
Let me just point out here that Chicago is Obama's home town and is currently run by Rahm Emanuel, one of Obama's chief henchmen. If there are issues of racism and community policing here, they can be laid squarely at the feet of the left. And while I can't speak to race, a secret detention center that doesn't allow those detained their normal civil rights is one hell of a "community policing" problem.
Dem Rep Watson Coleman wants to pass ammunition control
I think the fact that she is proposing legislation in her district is an acknowledgement that it will never pass and that she is doing it for local political support rather than actually hoping it will pass Congress, or even for national media attention. This is strictly a pander-to-the-local-voters move.
That said, she's now on the record supporting:
If she thinks this will actually stop mass shooters, she's nuts. Showing ID is easy and basically none of the people who have committed mass murder would have a problem doing that. (They might have a problem passing a background check, but her legislation would not require one, and there are ways of getting around the background checks for firearms that would work equally well for ammunition). Further, the only people she will catch with her 1,000-round notification requirement are serious shooters who go through that amount of ammunition regularly; someone planning a mass shooting can easily shock the nation and get on TV with under a hundred rounds. With careful aim they could do it with a 6-shot revolver and have a round left over for the suicide shot.
If it actually passes, the only thing this will accomplish is to provide the government with a list of people who shoot more than 1,000 rounds on a regular basis and don't mind the government knowing about it. The ones who do mind will be trivially able to stay off the list without breaking any laws.
Oh, and it will effectively shut down online ammunition says, which will create a whole new set of ways to annoy gun owners and make their hobby more expensive. Undoubtedly the data will also be fed into the government panopticon, too.
The judge reasons that the defendant was not a violent felon. He was convicted previously of carrying a concealed weapon (the felony charge), and has some violent criminal issues in his past that did not rise to felonies.
I think this is probably the right call in this case. Misdemeanors, even violent ones, do not result in a lifetime prohibition on firearms possession. This is appropriate, because denying someone their right to defend themselves is a big deal. It seems that the only felony conviction in this case is for carrying a concealed firearm, not doing anything violently illegal with it. As such, the felony conviction would amount to a catch-22; he can't possess a firearm because he was once caught carrying a concealed firearm.
The decision is as-applied, meaning that the law in general stays in place; only this specific individual's case is thrown out.
We should probably be wary of anti-gun judges trying to throw out some questionable cases to troll for negative PR.
I sincerely believe that Romney is an intelligent, hard-working, and moral individual. In business he has experienced some success. In politics, particularly in Massachusetts, he has also experienced some success. If elected president, I believe he would do his best and, had he won in 2008 or 2012, we would not be facing the same problems today; in fact we would probably be much better off as a nation than we are now.
However, he did not win in 2008; he did not win in 2012; and running him in 2016 would be asking for the same result again.
Furthermore, while Romney may compare favorably to whoever the Democrats nominate, in his history and his campaigns he has repeatedly failed to inspire his party. Worse, he represents exactly the kind of establishment politics that will keep us on a steady course off the cliff. While I believe Romney is head and shoulders above Obama in terms of competence and moral virtues, his policies would likely favor gun control, expansion of government, and preservation of government control over health care and the economy.
Romney is well suited to be the Republican governor of a deep blue state. If the Democrats nominated him to run for President, I would applaud their return to some version of political sanity. If he chooses to run for Senate, as he has been rumored to be considering, he could do well depending on who and where. But he is the wrong man to run for President as a Republican in this environment. We need an inspirational change of direction, not a competent manager to continue the current trends.
Geraldo claims he was fired for $200 donation versus Stephanopolous' $75000
This sort of thing is exactly why we have a written code of laws. People are expected to know the rules in order to behave according to those rules, and expect punishment with those rules when they are broken.
If the friends of the king are allowed to escape punishment, or face lesser punishment for the same (or worse) acts, then the system breaks down. Or, in our case, has already broken down.
ABC's internal rules may not have force of law, but the principle is the same.
I'm not particularly worried about the donation itself. I'm worried about the lack of disclosure while reporting on the Clinton Foundation. Not to mention attacking its critics and defending its donors.
The latest case to assault the deniers in the audience is the matter of George Stephanopolous. Those who were alive under the last Democrat president will remember him as a Clinton political operative who spent a lot of his time appearing on network news shows to defend his bosses against scandals and do his best to spin the news to minimize the political damage-- and, make no mistake, his best was pretty damn good considering the material he had to work with.
When ABC News hired him in 1996, after Bill Clinton lied his way to reelection, they promised to keep him out of political reporting. They broke that promise almost immediately.
Obama bought into the lie that there are "moderate" Islamic terrorists who are willing to fight other Islamic terrorists. He was wrong. If you are a terrorist, you are by definition not a moderate. And while you may not be friends with other Islamic terrorists, you have a lot more in common with them than you do with the United States. And so now, the arms and funding we provided to "moderate" terrorists is in the hands of the "extreme" terrorists.
I don't have a problem with gay marriage as a general policy matter. I have, at most, a few quibbles on the margins of how the law should treat a relationship that cannot naturally produce children compared to one that does. But I have a major problem with the idea that gay marriage can be imposed upon everyone in the country based on the votes of 5 justices overriding the will of the people in most of those states. If there was an amendment to the federal constitution made over this issue, that would be one thing. But there was not. Spuriously claiming that an earlier amendment, put in place to address a different issue over a hundred years ago, suddenly requires that we destroy millenia of custom, tradition, and law in favor of the latest social craze on the left and perhaps at most 5% of the population is insane.
I doubt this decision is going to significantly impact my life in any way. But it is another brick removed from the legal wall that protects us from tyranny by those who think they rule us.
And there's a strong hint in the decision that churches which refuse to recognize same-sex marriages may lose their tax exemptions. The question of whether a church should be tax-exempt or not is a tricky one, but it seems obvious to me that the government cannot -- as a First Amendment matter -- pick sides in theological disputes. The court may disagree in the near future.
The only response to that tactic that has a chance of winning in the long run: "I can't wait to force the local mosque to marry gay couples."
The first reason, and the absolute disqualifier, is dynasty. In America, we do not have noble families with divine right to rule. Political positions are not inherited, nor passed from father to son or daughter like property. Two Bushes serving as president in living memory of one another is somewhat acceptable; three Bushes starts to look more like an undesirable pattern. I admit this is somewhat unfair to Jeb Bush as an individual; however, for the good of the nation, he should not run and must not win.
While Jeb gets points for transparency in releasing his official correspondence as governor of Florida, he loses even more points for failing to redact private information in the release, including social security numbers and personal email addresses of ordinary individuals. It is clear Jeb cannot be trusted to respect the privacy of citizens.
And if that wasn't enough, he's admitted that he doesn't understand the debate over the National Security Agency's collection of bulk telephone data. Anyone who doesn't understand why that program is a problem should not be anywhere near elected office, and has effectively admitted to being unfamiliar with the Constitution's limits on government, particularly the 4th Amendment. While not understanding the debate is bad enough, he has openly backed the surveillance programs.
In fact, he has praised Obama for keeping them in place!
This is absolutely a disqualifier. I will not, cannot, support a candidate who has said this. Not in the primary, not in the general. And he didn't just say it once, but keeps saying it.
ISIS graffiti in Texas with image of bomb not considered a serious threat by police?!
Sounds like a threat to me. Surely after the recent attack on a Texas art show by two armed terrorists, and the ISIS threat for more attacks in 5 specific states including Texas, the government is taking it seriously, right?
But surely we can trust the military to keep us safe, right?
Rubio made an early splash as an attractive hispanic tea party Republican, someone who ran and won against a truly pathetic Charlie Crist (a man so staunchly Republican that he ran as an independent when he lost the primary, and has since joined the Democrats). Early in his Senate career, however, he signed on to a potential amnesty deal with McCain, Graham, and the other usual suspects. The deal failed, but his participation in it marked Rubio's shift away from the tea party values and towards a more establishment-friendly position.
He has since given interviews in which he moderated his position -- but his interviews, given in Spanish, tell a different story. In those interviews, he supports the Obama amnesty and continues to support immigration reform along the lines of the Gang of 8 Senate legislation that got so many conservatives feeling betrayed.
I do not support Rubio for president because Rubio cannot be trusted on immigration issues, and as he spends time in the Senate, he continues to damage his record by aligning with the establishment and even sometimes with the Democrats. Time after time, on issue after issue, he has reversed himself from a grass-roots position to the Establishment position. What this tells me is that he cannot be trusted. He will say what he has to say to get elected, and then do something else. The record of dishonesty continues today, using the cheap trick of Spanish language television to tell one audience one thing and everyone else something different.
As they say, he coulda been a contenda... but he ain't anymore.
I have mixed feelings about this. If it could be treated as an honest matter, I think the House should and would pass it easily and the Senate would decide to remove Koskinen from the IRS. However, the reality is that after the Clinton impeachment, the Senate will always consider impeachment a political matter and I do not see enough Democrats joining the GOP to remove Koskinen from office. And if Koskinen is impeached but not removed, it will hand the Democrats a tremendous PR tool for sweeping the remains of the scandal under the rug. They will say the GOP went on a partisan witch hunt and found nothing, citing the Senate's failure to vote a 67-vote majority as proof there was never anything to the whole thing all along.
Make no mistake. I believe Koskinen is guilty as sin of impeding the investigation by slow-walking document production at a minimum, and likely was complicit in ensuring that emails were not recovered or produced. There must be consequences, but I don't see this as leading to a realistically successful outcome because the Senate would inevitably treat this as a political question.
That said, if the House thinks they have a good chance of obtaining the necessary Senate votes, go for it.
BREAKING: Lerner backup tapes deleted AFTER Congressional subpoena
March 2014; 30 days after Obama says that there is not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS. The tapes were degaussed, which means magnetically destroyed rather than overwritten and reused for new backup information. The only reason to degauss a tape is to destroy the information on it. And this takes place over 6 months after a congressional subpoena for those emails was issued, with Koskinen assuring us the whole time that the emails had been archived and would be provided to Congress... right up until the time he told us the emails were lost.
The Inspector General testified that the IRS did NOT look for Lerner emails: * On the IRS email server * On Lerner's blackberry * On any of the laptops that Lerner might have been loaned when hers failed * On the backup tapes
So where did they spend millions of dollars and so much time pretending to look for Lerner emails?
And so there are only 1,000 emails that could be recovered, a very small fraction of the over 20,000 emails that were logged by the IRS email servers to or from Lerner during the same period. The IRS destroyed -- degaussed -- those 23,000 emails rather than provide them to Congress. We will likely never get the vast majority of those emails from that period due to the IRS degaussing them.
Ars Technica acquires automated license plate reader database
In other words, once the readers are deployed throughout a city, state, or nation, anyone driving within that nation can be tracked and their habits analyzed after the fact, once they have for some reason become a person of interest to law enforcement -- or to anyone willing to write a FOIA request for the information.
It is, quite literally, the end of privacy for the personal movements of individuals. The police will be effectively following everyone all the time. And so will everyone else -- remember, while the police have access to the registration data for the plates, the plates themselves are displayed publicly and so is your face when you are driving your car. Anyone who happens to see you in your car can get your license plate, file a public records request, and find out every time you have been seen by the automated reader system for as long as the data is retained.
Completely out of control and abusing their imagined authority
Call the police and report the incident as vandalism. Then sue the school for interfering with your First Amendment rights. Then set up a protest outside the school and invite all your local veteran organizations.