Gov. Northam says localities could face ‘consequences’ if law enforcement officers don’t enforce gun laws

‘The law is the law’: Virginia Democrats float prosecution, National Guard deployment if police don’t enforce gun control

Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill say local police who do not enforce gun control measures likely to pass in Virginia should face prosecution and even threats of the National Guard.

After November’s Virginia Legislature elections that led to Democrats taking control of both chambers, the gun control legislation proposed by some Democrats moved forward, including universal background checks, an “assault weapons” ban, and a red flag law.

Legal firearm owners in the state, however, joined with their sheriffs to form Second Amendment sanctuary counties, which declare the authorities in these municipalities uphold the Second Amendment in the face of any gun control measure passed by Richmond.

Over 75 counties in Virginia have so far adopted such Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in the commonwealth, the latest being Spotsylvania County. The board of supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution declaring that county police will not enforce state-level gun laws that violate Second Amendment rights.

Virginia Democratic officials, however, already say local law enforcement supporting these resolutions will face consequences if they do not carry out any law the state Legislature passes.

“I would hope they either resign in good conscience, because they cannot uphold the law which they are sworn to uphold, or they’re prosecuted for failure to fulfill their oath,” Democratic Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly told the Washington Examiner of local county police who may refuse to enforce future gun control measures. “The law is the law. If that becomes the law, you don’t have a choice, not if you’re a sworn officer of the law.”

Democratic Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin suggested cutting off state funds to counties that do not comply with any gun control measures that pass in Richmond.

“They certainly risk funding, because if the sheriff’s department is not going to enforce the law, they’re going to lose money. The counties’ attorneys offices are not going to have the money to prosecute because their prosecutions are going to go down,” he said.

McEachin also noted that Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam could call the National Guard, if necessary.

“And ultimately, I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law,” he said. “That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring blamed the numerous Second Amendment resolutions in the state on the “gun lobby” as a tactic to frighten state residents.

“The resolutions that are being passed are being ginned up by the gun lobby to try to scare people. What we’re talking about here are laws that will make our communities and our streets safer,” Herring told CBS 6.

Pelosi Snaps: “Don’t Mess With Me!”

Politicians don’t react like that unless a sensitive area has been needled. I take Pelosi’s offended reaction as this: In some recent conversation she actually did say she hated the President and from the reporter’s question, she figured that had leaked out and he was trying to get a ‘gotcha’ in on camera.
So, she goes off in faux outrage.
It’s another unintended indication of just how wound up they all are in D.C. these days.

Nancy Pelosi snapped at a reporter who suggested she hated the president, angrily telling him, “Don’t mess with me!”

Pelosi was leaving a press conference on Capitol Hill when the confrontation happened.

“I don’t hate anybody…we don’t hate anybody in the world,” said Pelosi.

The politicians can have all the committee meetings they want. The IG and U.S. Attorneys can investigate all they want too. Until Attorney General Barr starts getting a Federal Grand Jury to issue indictments, it’s nothing more than an effort to keep a lid on things.

Two former Houston police officers arrested over a deadly drug raid

The woman charged, Patricia Garcia, made a false accusation that ended up with her daughter & son-in-law getting killed. I’d bet Garcia and her son-in-law had a ‘personality conflict’ and she figured she had found a way to get back at him. I wonder what she thinks now about the unintended consequences of that, if indeed she didn’t care about the possibility of getting her daughter killed during a SWAT raid out of some twisted spite filled impulse.
These cops deserve everything they’re going to get.
I’ll say again, I’m not anti-cop. I’m anti-stupid (and corrupt) cop. This crap just causes more people to conclude that the LE establishment as a whole has an endemic stupidity/corruption problem and they’re not to be trusted. That really helps with ‘community relations’ when the police deal with the real criminal element and the populace couldn’t care less.

Two former Houston police officers who allegedly provide false information that led to a deadly drug raid earlier this year have been arrested, authorities said Wednesday.

Gerald Goines and his partner, Steven Bryant, along with civilian Patricia Garcia, were taken into custody in connection with the Jan. 28 raid on a home that left two people dead and several officers wounded, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Two Former Houston Police Department Officers Indicted in Connection to Fatal Raid

Three people are now in custody in relation to the fatal raid that occurred in January 2019 on Harding Street in Houston, Texas, announced Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI.

A federal grand jury returned the nine count indictment Nov. 14 against Gerald M. Goines, 55, and Steven M. Bryant, 46, both former Houston Police Department (HPD) officers. Also charged is Patricia Ann Garcia, 53. All are residents of Houston. The indictment was unsealed this morning as authorities took all three into custody. They are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena H. Palermo at 2 p.m. central time.

The federal indictment stems from the Jan. 28 narcotics raid HPD conducted on the 7800 block of Harding Street in Houston. The enforcement action resulted in the deaths of two residents at that location.

Goines is charged with two counts of depriving the victims’ constitutional right to be secure against unreasonable searches. The indictment alleges Goines made numerous materially false statements in the state search warrant he obtained for their residence. The execution of that warrant containing these false statements resulted in the death of the two individuals as well as injuries to four other persons, according to the indictment.

Goines and Bryant are charged with obstructing justice by falsifying records. Goines allegedly made several false statements in his tactical plan and offense report prepared in connection with that search warrant. The indictment alleges Bryant falsely claimed in a supplemental case report he had previously assisted Goines in the Harding Street investigation. Bryant allegedly identified a brown powdery substance (heroin) he retrieved from Goines’ vehicle as narcotics purchased from the Harding Street residence Jan. 27.

Goines is further charged with three separate counts of obstructing an official proceeding. The federal grand jury alleges Goines falsely stated Jan. 30 that a particular confidential informant had purchased narcotics at the Harding Street location three days prior. He also falsely stated Jan. 31 that a different confidential informant purchased narcotics at that residence that day, according to the charges. On Feb. 13, he also falsely claimed he had purchased narcotics at that residence on that day. The indictment alleges none of these statements were true.

The charges against Garcia allege she conveyed false information by making several fake 911 calls. Specifically, on Jan. 8, she allegedly made several calls claiming her daughter was inside the Harding Street location. According to the indictment, Garcia added that the residents of the home were addicts and drug dealers and that they had guns – including machine guns – inside the home. The charges allege none of Garcia’s claims were true.

If convicted of the civil rights charges, Goines faces up to life in prison. Each obstruction count carries a potential 20-year sentence, while Garcia faces a five-year term of imprisonment for conveying false information.

The FBI is conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alamdar S. Hamdani, Arthur R. Jones and Sharad S. Khandelwal, and Special Litigation Counsel Jared Fishman of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

Abandoning Malmö to Its Criminals
By the way, those criminals are mostly moslem ‘refugee’ imports.
And Swedes should remember; they voted in the gubbermint that did this to them. And now they’re getting it good and hard, just as Mencken wrote.

“I think they just shot someone right across from my balcony,” my friend told me.

The gunshot rang out even as we were texting about another recent act of violence here in the Swedish city of Malmö—a car bomb that went off in a residential area close to my home.

Acts of violence occur so frequently in Malmö that news of one blurs into the next. This year, there already have been 29 explosions in a city of just 320,000. Sweden as a whole is on pace for about 150—or about three per week (as Quillette has reported previously). These are attacks by criminal gangs that usually target other criminals. But the victims are sometimes innocent bystanders. In one recent case, for instance, a female student was severely injured in the face when she happened to pass by a shop that exploded in Lund, a ten-minute car ride from Malmö. The more spectacular attacks have left whole cities such as Malmö fearful and traumatized, as a grandmother explained in a recent Facebook post about a bombing that blew out the windows of a residential building where her grandchildren were sleeping—”… two very frightened Swedish children, whose safe existence just fell apart.”

Writing for the newspaper Expressen that same day, Malmö-based journalist Fredrico Moreno likened his city’s bombing epidemic to a terror spree: “The bombs that wake us at night, that explode so that glass windows fly into bedrooms, have taken thousands of Malmö residents hostage…Friends tell me in passing how they have refurbished or switched rooms at home so that the children are not hurt when there are explosions nearby.”

As Sweden’s national police chief put it last week, there is “no equivalent” to this bombing campaign in any other Western country. And the violence extends beyond bombings. On Saturday, gunmen killed a 15-year-old boy and critically wounded another at a pizzeria, minutes after yet another explosion in Malmö. Witnesses reported the sound of “an entire clip being emptied.” In August, the city was shaken to its core when Karolin Hakim, a young doctor whose boyfriend is a well-known figure from the city’s criminal underworld, was shot and killed in an affluent Malmö neighborhood. She was carrying her infant baby in her arms. The killer placed a bullet in her head when she was already lying on the street.

As with many Malmö residents, there is a personal dimension for me. In August, 2017, I was awakened at 2:30am by burglars attempting to enter my home. I was alone with my then 5-year old twin daughters when four men smashed the glass panes of the antique door on the ground floor. I carried my sleeping daughters upstairs, called the police and desperately looked around for a makeshift means of self-defense. The best I could manage was a hammer. Over the phone, a police officer urged me not to make my presence known to the intruders, whose silhouettes I could see on the frosted window as they poked around the area where I kept my daughters’ bicycles. Thankfully, my neighbor happened to come home late that night, inadvertently scaring off the burglars when he turned on the stairwell lights in our shared entryway. From my bedroom window, I got a good view of the four men as they ran down the street and disappeared.

Half an hour later, I gave a young and resigned-seeming police officer my account of the incident. When I asked him how best to protect my family in the future, he told me the best solution was “not living in Malmö: Things have escalated to a point where we can’t manage the situation.”

His answer shocked me, and I subsequently wrote an opinion piece for a Swedish national newspaper about it. The article was widely circulated and provoked much discussion. My local Malmö newspaper, by contrast, criticized the decision to publish my piece at all, questioned the validity of my account, and fretted that it might hurt the city’s image.

This ad for Staffanstorp, a municipality 20 minutes from Malmö, sparked intense debate in Sweden this week. It shows a family that moves from Malmö after being harassed by a street gang.

Though many of the bombings and homicides go unsolved, they are known to be the work of warring criminal gangs that are predominantly based in the country’s immigrant neighborhoods. In recent years, the attacks have shifted from underprivileged areas and into the more prosperous city center, where professionals inhabit 19th-century houses on picturesque cobblestone roads. Recently, someone detonated a bomb at a fancy sushi restaurant just a few blocks from my house. A few weeks before that, the patisserie and café across the road was blown up. Before that, it was the nightclub down the road. It’s a small city, and there are few residents who haven’t been affected by the violence in some way.

We’ve been woken by bombings four times this year. When the sushi restaurant exploded, the blast was so powerful it made the windows in our bedroom rattle and a number of car alarms go off in the distance as the shockwave hit them. The explosion happened three blocks away, but the sound had become so familiar that I went back to sleep without even getting out of bed to check on my twins.

For years, the Swedish media and political establishment have done their best to play down the trend, dismissing concerns such as my own as alarmist overreactions. Malmö has been hailed as a multicultural success, despite growing evidence to the contrary. “This is a serious situation, but most people shouldn’t be worried, because they are not going to be affected,” the head of intelligence at Sweden’s National Operations Department assured everyone earlier this week. We are also made to understand that the perpetrators are, as one police official put it, “from socio-economically weak groups, socio-economically weak areas, and many are perhaps second- or third-generation immigrants.” A Social Democratic MP from Malmö, Hillevi Larsson, infamously claimed during a parliamentary debate in 2017 that she goes on her bike everywhere in Malmö, and that there is thus no reason to be afraid. Shootings are mainly about ”gangsters shooting at each other,” she argued.

But if a government doesn’t protect its population, then ordinary people will find a way to address the problem themselves—sometimes by simply leaving. Indeed, underpopulated Swedish municipalities with low crime rates now are actively recruiting well-off families from Malmö and other dangerous areas. The idea of “gated communities” is still a taboo in this country. But there is always the option of simply leaving a city like Malmö for a place with less crime.

That police officer who came to my home in 2017 was all too correct—which is why my wife and I recently made our own plans to leave the city with our family. Maybe one day we’ll return, but not until Swedish politicians show more concern for fighting crime than fending off criticism.

Sanctuary County Rolls Back Its Anti-ICE Policy Following String Of Illegal Aliens Charged With Rape

Yeah, and I wonder if some enterprising lawyer representing the victims might have a good case to sue the county and Erlich.

Following months of national media coverage over the handling of illegal aliens in his custody, Montgomery County, Maryland, Executive Marc Elrich has somewhat reversed a sanctuary policy he signed into law.

Elrich will allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents the ability to access certain areas of the Montgomery County jail in order to apprehend illegal aliens, according to ABC7 News. A county spokesman confirmed to the local news outlet on Nov. 1 that correctional officers have been ordered to give ICE agents clearance to “identified areas” of the jail to “ensure that transfers are conducted in a safe environment.”

News of the cooperation between Montgomery County and federal immigration authorities comes three months after Elrich signed an executive order that prohibited county officials from working with ICE.

Elrich signed the “The Promoting Community Trust Executive Order” in July, which barred county police from asking an individual about their immigration status and largely prohibited them from cooperating with ICE agents. Montgomery County had already refused to honor ICE detainer requests, and the new order was the latest sanctuary measure enacted by a deep-blue locality revolting against the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

However, Elrich’s order soon proved controversial. Authorities arrested numerous illegal aliens in Montgomery County — all of the arrests taking place just weeks after the order was signed — and charged them with rape or other sexual abuse crimes. The string of rape charges shined a national spotlight on the county’s policy toward criminal illegal aliens and its fraught relationship with the agency tasked with removing them.

Anyone Want To Play Poker?

I was going to write part two of why California is burning. But that takes a back seat to impeachment and the latest economic news.

So I’ll shorten the “why California is burning” story. California is burning and blacked out because of insane liberal policies. First and foremost, as I pointed out in my last column, hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted over the past 20 years paying for the costs of illegal immigration instead of upgrading and modernizing the California electric grid. The chickens have come home to roost.

The secondary cause for California’s nightmare involves environmental policies that won’t allow brush clearing or cutting down dead trees. The third cause is climate change mandates that force utility companies to waste billions of dollars annually on green energy.

So California consumers get the highest energy bills in the nation, the highest taxes in the nation and blackouts when the wind blows. Congratulations.

I could solve California’s problems quickly. Clean the brush and redirect all those billions of dollars to upgrading and modernizing your electrical grid. Simple.

How the World to the Dark Tower Came.

“California,” argues Victor Davis Hanson, is “becoming pre-modern” despite ballooning government solutions. Like fictional pre-modern societies, it is becoming a two-tier society; a landscape of fantastical castles amid a sea of peasants. It is as if the technologically sophisticated components of the Golden State were creating its shadow of poor, homeless, drug-addicted and unskilled populations.

Huge global wealth in high-tech, finance, trade and academia poured into the coastal corridor, creating a new nobility with unprecedented riches. Unfortunately, the new aristocracy adopted mindsets antithetical to the general welfare of Californians living outside their coastal enclaves. The nobodies have struggled to buy high-priced , pay exorbitant power bills and deal with shoddy infrastructure — all of which resulted from the policies of the distant somebodies.

Yet in some respects, not only California but the whole global world is morphing into a similar two-tier arrangement. This may be driven by something called knowledge inequality. The processes by which a society produced its goods and governed itself were once common knowledge to a large percentage of the population. But they are not now…………

Annie Lowrey of The Atlantic writes that “California is becoming unlivable” and suggests solving the wildfire/electricity outage problem by banning development. “One solution … is to build more dense housing in urban areas … California isn’t doing enough to discourage building in fire-prone areas.” Yet regulation is what caused the problem in the first place.

The bulk of wildfire destruction in California happens in the Wildlife Urban Interface (WUI) … Although much of the WUI is naturally vulnerable to fire, human behavior is primarily to blame for the destruction. People start more than nine in 10 fires … If building in the WUI is so dangerous, why do it? In part because building new housing is so very difficult in many urban regions in California, due to opposition from existing homeowners and strict building codes.

Knowledge inequality makes “magical” solutions inevitable because an ever smaller fraction of the public know how things work or are paid for.  Healthcare woes?  Medicare for all. Housing crisis?  Make affordable housing a “right”.  Students choking under loans?  Write it off.  Graduates without literacy or numeracy?  Teach Woke Math.

Fix the wildfires by tightly regulating development sounds like a solution.  Following Arthur C. Clarke’s famous adage that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” many things are now solved by linguistic legerdemain.  Ever since Apollo politicians have been invoking associative magic as political spells:

“Nothing is impossible in this age of miracles. If we can put a man on the Moon, we surely are capable of seeing that our temporary surplus agricultural products are placed in many hungry stomachs of the world.” …

Nixon’s Democratic opponent, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, used the phrase in his standard stump speech: “If we can put a man on the Moon, certainly we can afford to put man on his feet on Earth.”

Sending a spacecraft to the lunar surface and solving homelessness might be different problems but with a few similes and metaphors they can be ‘magically’ connected and thus solved.

Greta Thunberg’s rally in Canada met by energy worker counter-protests.

When Extinction Rebellion began their global “climate crisis” protests over a week ago, they may have truly inspired citizens to get involved.

Just not in the way they expected.

First, we had Londoners bringing a rapid end to the underground train demonstrations. Then, there are the continuing protests by the Dutch farmers, as their government wants to cut both nitrogen and carbon emissions.

Now, child climate alarmist Greta Thunberg’s climate change rally has been crashed by counter-protest led by truck convoy of oil and gas workers in Canada.

Greta Thunberg joined thousands of protesters marching in Canada’s energy heartland Alberta yesterday as a smaller counter-rally led by a truck convoy of oil and gas workers also converged on the provincial capital Edmonton.

A crowd of several thousand led by indigenous drummers with students, young people and families marched slowly from a downtown intersection towards the Alberta legislature building.

…’We are doing this because our future is at stake,’ Thunberg told the crowd.

‘We will not be bystanders. We are doing this because we want the people in power to unite behind science.

But a counter-protester said: ‘We care for the environment, of course we do. What they need to understand is that we’re hurting and we also need to care about Alberta jobs.’

The honking horns of big rig trucks blared from a nearby thoroughfare, where vehicles emblazoned with ‘We love Canada energy’ signs were driving up and down.

‘When they charged their iPhones last night, that power came from this plant,’ he said, pointing to the former coal-fired Keephills power plant near Edmonton that was being converted to natural gas.

‘Albertans and Canadians are practical people,’ he said. ‘They like real world solutions. Calling for the end of the modern industrial economy, advocating to put millions of people out of work… is not a real world solution.’

The counter-protesters say that they are tired of celebrities.

Glen Carritt, who organized the United We Roll convoy that travelled to Ottawa in February, said a similar convoy will start in Red Deer, Alta., on Friday morning and make its way to Edmonton.

Carritt said the trucks are expected to arrive at the legislature at noon MT, when a climate rally is to begin with Thunberg, 16, who founded the Fridays For Future climate strikes that have galvanized young people around the world.

He said Albertans in the oil and gas sector are frustrated with celebrities visiting the province and telling them how to run their business.

“We in the province of Alberta are tired of celebrities coming into our province and trying to tell us how to run our oil and gas sector,” read a post on the United We Roll Facebook page.

“I am asking everyone connected to the oil and gas industry to come out in unity to show Greta we do not need her yelling at us.”

It seems many Canadians are tired of environmental justice scolds and biased media.

Executive Order on Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents

Did President Trump just made his own bump stock ban illegal? Read the whole thing at your convenience. I’ve excised all the legal mumbo-jumbo except for what I think are the important parts.


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to ensure that Americans are subject to only those binding rules imposed through duly enacted statutes or through regulations lawfully promulgated under them, and that Americans have fair notice of their obligations, it is hereby ordered as follows:………..

Agencies may clarify existing obligations through non binding guidance documents, which the APA exempts from notice-and-comment requirements. Yet agencies have sometimes used this authority inappropriately in attempts to regulate the public without following the rulemaking procedures of the APA. 

Americans deserve an open and fair regulatory process that imposes new obligations on the public only when consistent with applicable law and after an agency follows appropriate procedures. Therefore, it is the policy of the executive branch, to the extent consistent with applicable law, to require that agencies treat guidance documents as non-binding both in law and in practice, except as incorporated into a contract, …. Agencies may impose legally binding requirements on the public only through regulations and on parties on a case-by-case basis through adjudications, and only after appropriate process, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract.

Sec. 2. Definitions. For the purposes of this order:

(b) “Guidance document” means an agency statement of general applicability, intended to have future effect on the behavior of regulated parties, that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue, or an interpretation of a statute or regulation,

Sec. 3. Ensuring Transparent Use of Guidance Documents. (a) Within 120 days of the date on which the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issues an implementing memorandum under section 6 of this order, each agency or agency component, as appropriate, shall establish or maintain on its website a single, searchable, indexed database that contains or links to all guidance documents in effect from such agency or component. The website shall note that guidance documents lack the force and effect of law, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract.

(b) Within 120 days of the date on which OMB issues an implementing memorandum under section 6 of this order, each agency shall review its guidance documents and, consistent with applicable law, rescind those guidance documents that it determines should no longer be in effect. …..

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 9, 2019.

Something to consider.
Two articles that disagree with the conventional wisdom.

(1) Security Studies Group: The Syria Decision.

As we warned at the time, the American position was much more exposed and much less tenable than was commonly understood. The Turks, should they choose to press the issue, were in a much more powerful position unless the American military reinforced itself substantially.

The United States military currently deploys about two thousand personnel in an advisory role. Force protection for these elements is provided especially by air and fire support. Such support recently allowed a small contingent of American forces to wipe out a large Russian mercenary element. Nevertheless, the strength of the position should not be overestimated.

American personnel are spread out and isolated from one another in many places. They are advising, and are thus co-located with, irregular forces that could not have themselves withstood the Russian mercenaries. The Turkish military, which is likely to aim at America’s Kurdish allies, is far more powerful and has integrated air support, fire support, and the capacity to contest control of the air with fighters and anti-aircraft defenses….

It may be that the Turkish military can be convinced to accept an American plan that does not bring them into conflict with the Kurdish units we are supporting, but at this time there is no guarantee of that….The Trump administration must choose between withdrawing from an untenable position, or reinforcing that position so that it becomes tenable. Otherwise, the deployed American forces are at risk of becoming hostages to the enemy at best. At worst, they are at risk of being destroyed.

Just as allowing Iran to run wild hurts China much more than it hurts the United States, China is harmed by our allowing the Turks to provoke an insurgency that will bedevil the stability of the very region where China intends its massive investments. The wars that China’s own allies are starting are going to be the biggest tax on China’s growing power and influence, which means it will become China’s problem — and not America’s — to stop those wars. That means that China and Turkey, and not America, will end up paying the cost of Middle Eastern security. The danger they face is that they will overextend themselves, and provoke fights they cannot walk away from in the process. It may be a bigger burden than Erdogan or Xi imagine that they are taking on here.

It is unlikely that President Trump thinks so strategically or so ruthlessly. More likely he is simply convinced that these wars drain American blood and treasure in an unacceptable way, and he just intends to stop doing it whatever it costs. If the foreign policy community, the establishment or the Senate does not dissuade him, Trump will end America’s participation in this war to save American blood and American treasure.

(2) Trump’s Syria withdrawal bravely puts America First, the establishment last.

The foreign policy establishment is having a meltdown — and if you know anything about the last 20 years of U.S. history, then you know that means something good is happening…………

Nightmare predictions aside, Trump has shown great bravery with this decision, given the inevitable vitriolic political backlash. The president campaigned on putting America first, and he’s fulfilling that promise to voters no matter how angry the establishment gets. His decision will stop risking American lives and wasting taxpayer dollars on policing Middle East politics. This is long overdue, seeing as our security goals in Syria have already been accomplished.

To recap, the U.S. military first intervened in the Syrian conflict in 2014. Our goal was to destroy the Islamic State Caliphate, as the terrorist group had built up territorial control of much of the conflict-ridden region.

Mission accomplished.

In 2015, ISIS controlled large amounts of territory in Syria and Iraq, a territory “roughly the size of Portugal,” according to CNN. As of February 2019, it controlled just 50 square miles of territory.

No, the terrorist group hasn’t been entirely eradicated, but it has been degraded to the point of insignificance. It’s time to declare victory and come home. A complete and total elimination of all terrorist capability anywhere was never a feasible goal. To demand such a utopia prior to withdrawal is a recipe for indefinite occupation of half the world.

And the costs of our continued world-policing are serious. Just in 2019, at least five American service members have died in Syria, not to mention the countless civilians we’ve killed without even intending to. Those hawks who wish to continue our indefinite involvement in Syria until some mythical time in which the Middle East is not a conflict zone ought to look at the family of the deceased soldier Michael Thomason in the eyes — he died in April — and tell his loved ones we are going to keep putting the lives of young men like him at risk to play policemen of the world.

 

Nancy Gets A Wakeup Call.

According to Team Trump, Nancy Pelosi was greeted by at least 300 Trump supporters while attending a fundraiser at the Greenville, South Carolina Hyatt Regency on Friday. The Speaker was confronted by a sea of MAGA caps, “Impeach Pelosi” signs, and at least one woman draped in a “Women for Trump” banner and wearing a Pelosi mask. (A degrading task, but somebody had to do it.)

This is unusual for Republicans, who have traditionally maintained a live and let live policy toward the Democrats no matter what the circumstances. This is a large part of the “Republican as wimp” stereotype that has dominated the political scene for generations. The Demunnists were street fighters, toughies from the unions and the slums, whereas the GOP were the “little man on the wedding cake.”

This started to change in 2000 with the attempted Gore coup in Florida. Republicans actually set aside their plaid jackets and contrasting waistcoats to demonstrate in front of the vote-counting offices. This was the first time this had occurred since the civil war, and was a harbinger as to how things were beginning to change.

This is not something that Nancy could possibly welcome. Most of the Dem strategy is based on the assumption that the party of the Bushes, Romney, and Ryan will never strike back. But the ground is shifting, and a new GOP, brought to life by the Orange Cthulhu, is beginning to stir.

So far nobody has chased Nancy or Adam or Little Sandy from a restaurant or confronted them on the street. It would be a shame if anyone did. But these things have a logic of their own and will go the way they go. Fires of this type, once set, will burn until they burn out. The Dems, in their embrace of violence, lies, manipulation, and gutter tactics, have opened a door, and they must deal with whatever emerges.

Just the other day the lovely and demure Maxine Waters was whining about how she can’t even go into a grocery store in Compton without a bodyguard anymore. No doubt much the same was heard from Nancy on Friday. We’ll be hearing a lot more of it before this is over.

ATF Admits No Legal Authority For Bump Stock Ruling

Show of hands, who has been paying attention to the various lawsuits dealing with the ATF’s reinterpretation of Bump Stocks? Because to be completely honest, I haven’t been paying as much attention as I clearly should have been. In their most recent court filing, the ATF has admitted some truly explosive news. Namely, they concede that they do not have the authority to reinterpret the definition of machine guns in the  bump stock ruling under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

ATF Admits No Legal Authority for Bump Stock Ruling

Let’s back up and provide some context. So, on December 26th, 2018, the ATF issued a final ruling on “bump stocks”. A bump-stock is a device that allows an operator of a firearm to simulate automatic fire by muscle power. While previously the ATF had decided that bump-fire or slide-fire stocks were legal devices, they then reclassified them as illegal machineguns. All current owners were ordered to destroy them. If you did not do so, you faced up to 10 years in federal prison.

Naturally, a lot of people became somewhat ticked off that the ATF would seemingly arbitrarily change their ruling to make thousands of Americans potential felons overnight. As a result, many people filed lawsuits. One such lawsuit was filed by the New Civil Liberties Alliance on behalf of plaintiff W. Clark Aposhian.

This Case in Particular

This lawsuit rests on a fairly straightforward presumption. The complaint states that since all legislative powers lie with Congress, the ATF, as a part of the executive branch, cannot reinterpret statutes to mean something else. Since the law regarding machineguns has not changed, bump stocks can’t be reclassified as machineguns.

There are another 30 odd pages of the original complaint, but that’s about the gist of things. Mr. Aposhian is a law-abiding citizen, the ATF told him that bump stocks were legal so he bought one. The filing states that the ATF lacks the authority to reclassify bump stocks, and thus the ATF has violated Mr. Aposhian’s constitutional rights, as well as exceeding its constitutional remit as part of the executive branch.

ATF Bump Stock Ruling Admission – Why Should We Care?

The million-dollar question. Why do we care? Because as of September 18th, the ATF has written a court brief that admits it exceeded its constitutional remit as part of the executive branch. The court filing states specifically that;

The statutory scheme does not, however, appear to provide the Attorney General the authority to engage in “gap-filling” interpretations of what qualifies as a “machinegun”. Congress has provided a detailed definition of the term “machinegun”…

The New Civil Liberties Alliance, on behalf of Mr. Aposhian, quickly filed a for a preliminary injunction. Essentially, as Mr. Aposhian has suffered “irreparable harm” from the deprivation of his lawfully-acquired bump stock, and the ATF (in the opinion of the Plaintiffs) clearly lacks the authority to cause such deprivation, the Final Rule on Bump Stocks should be struck down.

NCLA Brief

ATF’s Brief on the bump stock ruling is behind a login-wall in the PACER system. It can be found in the 10th Circuit Court’s filings, case number 19-4036, Aposhian v. Barr, et al.


ATF Admits It Lacked Authority to Issue Legislative Rule, NCLA Condemns the Agency’s Attempt to Ban Bump Stocks Anyway

This case is not about whether gun control is a good idea. Rather, Mr. Aposhian’s appeal raises key issues about how an agency may create such a ban—that is, whether agency regulations may contradict a statute passed by Congress. The appeal also challenges the notion that a mere interpretive rule can bind third parties, such as owners of bump stocks.

The bump stock rule made it a new federal crime to own a bump stock, even one purchased with ATF’s prior permission. ATF knows it didn’t have the authority to enact such a law. Instead of defending the rule, ATF now pretends the ban is just a recommendation for the public. NCLA is confident the court will see through ATF’s games and strike down this invalid rule.” Caleb Kruckenberg, Litigation Counsel

ATF is caught between a rock and a hard place. The agency lacks legal authority to issue a so-called legislative rule, but a mere interpretive rule is not legally allowed to bind any third parties outside the government. By ordering half a million bump stock owners to surrender their devices—or face prosecution—ATF has acted in a completely unconstitutional fashion. It is high time for the federal courts to put a stop to this regulatory nonsense.”
Mark Chenoweth, Executive Director and General Counsel

Congress could have passed bipartisan legislation making bump stocks illegal. Instead, ATF has tried to ban them via administrative action in the Bump Stock Final Rule. This Court has a constitutional obligation to strike down ATF’s attempted legislative rewrite. Otherwise, the Executive Branch will usurp Congress’ legislative function in other areas, and the Constitution’s careful limits on how laws are made will be undone.

Trump Whistleblower Drama Puts Biden In The Hot Seat Over Ukraine

For days we’ve been treated to MSM insinuations that President Trump may have betrayed the United States after a whistleblower lodged an ‘urgent’ complaint about something Trump promised another world leader – the details of which the White House has refused to share.

Then, we learned it was a phone call.

Then, we learned it was several phone calls.

Now, we learn it wasn’t Russia or North Korea – it was Ukraine!

Here’s the scandal; It appears that Trump, may have made promises to newly minted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – very likely involving an effort to convince Ukraine to reopen its investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, after Biden strongarmed Ukraine’s prior government into firing its top prosecutor – something Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have pursued for months. There are also unsupported rumors that Trump threatened to withhold $250 million in aid to help Ukraine fight Russian-backed separatists.

And while the MSM and Congressional Democrats are starting to focus on the sitting US president having a political opponent investigated, The New York Times admits that nothing Trump did would have been illegal, as “while Mr. Trump may have discussed intelligence activities with the foreign leader, he enjoys broad power as president to declassify intelligence secrets, order the intelligence community to act and otherwise direct the conduct of foreign policy as he sees fit.”

Moreover, here’s why Trump and Giuliani are going to dig their heels in; last year Biden openly bragged about threatening to hurl Ukraine into bankruptcy as Vice President if they didn’t fire their top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin – who was leading a wide-ranging corruption investigation into a natural gas firm whose board  Hunter Biden sat on. 

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. –The Hill

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko.

Gun Sales Jump 15.5 Percent in August as Dems Renew Push for Regulations.

Background checks for gun sales, concealed-carry permits, and security spiked in August as congressional Democrats renewed their push for expanded gun control in the wake of several mass shootings.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System recorded a 15.5 percent uptick in background checks last month, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The jump in gun sales appears to have been spurred by a desire to secure self-protection amid an epidemic of mass shootings in the U.S., before Congress potentially approves stricter gun-control measures such as an assault-weapons ban, universal background checks, or limits on ammunition.

The NSSF also pointed out that some states saw a particularly steep jump in background checks last month, with Alabama’s NSSF-adjusted number jumping over 100 percent from August of last year, and Minnesota’s number increasing 68.9 percent.