California’s AB5 Leaves Women Business Owners Reeling

Sometimes I wonder if I should have a ‘?’ after Unintended Consequences, because my cynical side makes me think that this is not a bug, but a feature.

Aimee Benavides has built a thriving career as a translator and interpreter while homeschooling her nine-year-old daughter, who has autism, and 11-year-old son, who is heavily involved in STEM enrichment classes. What makes it all possible is the home-based business she started in 2010, after leaving a full-time job in the court system.

It isn’t easy to juggle it all. Sometimes she starts work at 5:30 am to get her work done—or brings her son to the school board meetings where she takes on evening projects. “The times I don’t take my son with me, they ask, ‘How is your son?’” she says.

Still, Benavides would not trade the flexibility of self-employment for a traditional job. Benavides’ business allows her and her husband, an IT professional, to afford the cost of living in Fresno, Calif., while still permitting them to manage their family responsibilities.

Benavides is one of a number of self-employed women in California who are speaking out in opposition to AB5, a union-backed law aimed at preventing misclassification of gig workers that took effect on January 1. The law presumes that every worker in the state—except those on a list of exempted industries, such as physicians, accountants, architects and engineers—is an employee.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), the bill’s sponsor, tweeted yesterday that under the law “if you are a true independent proprietor, you can still operate as one.”

She pointed to a test that allows sole proprietors, partnerships, LLCs, LLPs and corporations to operate legally in California if they meet 12 criteria—such as being free from the direction and control of the client, providing services directly to the client and not the client’s customers and being customarily engaged in the same type of work they are doing for the client—and pass another multi-point test, known as Borello.

However, many independent workers in California say AB5’s complexity has scared away their clients, who are afraid of getting hit with fines by the state if they misinterpret it. Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2020 budget includes about $20 million for enforcement.

BREAKING: James Comey Under Investigation for Allegedly Leaking Classified Info, Lynch/Clinton Evidence That Made Comey Take Over Is Revealed

The New York Times is breaking, and can we say, desperately spinning, the reports that former FBI Director James Comey is under investigation for leaking classified information.

How’s that for an attempt to spin the investigation? This is the news timeline, not opinion. But yes, let’s pretend they’re objective. And maybe the reason it wasn’t investigated when it should have been is that there were still Comey cronies controlling everything? Of course, just a thought.

But on to what they’re trying to spin.

Comey had previously violated FBI policy in leaking the information to the times through his friend, Daniel Richman and the matter was referred to federal prosecutors in New York.

Now this new investigation involves leaks relating to two articles including one in the Washington Post and another in the NY Times (now we see why the spinning) about a Russian intelligence document, which the Times says was highly classified.

Now this part is fascinating:

The document played a key role in Mr. Comey’s decision to sideline the Justice Department and announce in July 2016 that the F.B.I. would not recommend that Hillary Clinton face charges in her use of a private email server to conduct government business while secretary of state.

Wait, what? What would a Russian intelligence document have to do with Comey stepping in and taking the power away from the DOJ, which he could not properly do anyway? At the time, Comey implied in his reasoning that there was classified information with regard to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The document is mentioned in a book published last fall, “Deep State: Trump, the F.B.I., and the Rule of Law” by James B. Stewart, a Times reporter.

Here’s the money paragraph, hidden down in the story.

The latest investigation involves material that Dutch intelligence operatives siphoned off Russian computers and provided to the United States government. The information included a Russian analysis of what appeared to be an email exchange during the 2016 presidential campaign between Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida who was also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee at the time, and Leonard Benardo, an official with the Open Society Foundations, a democracy-promoting organization whose founder, George Soros, has long been a target of the far right.

In the email, Ms. Wasserman Schultz suggested that then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch would make sure that Mrs. Clinton would not be prosecuted in the email case. Both Ms. Wasserman Schultz and Mr. Benardo have denied being in contact, suggesting the document was meant to be Russian disinformation.

That document was one of the key factors that drove Mr. Comey to hold a news conference in July 2016 announcing that investigators would recommend no charges against Mrs. Clinton. Typically, senior Justice Department officials would decide how to proceed in such a high-profile case, but Mr. Comey was concerned that if Ms. Lynch played a central role in deciding whether to charge Mrs. Clinton, Russia could leak the email.

Whoa, so strip everything away and what the document says is that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was guaranteeing that Lynch would get Hillary Clinton off.

California news anchors get redpilled on live television.

Good and hard, California just like Mencken said.

The blue governments that Californians continually vote in may have finally crossed the line, at least so it seems to these [L.A.-based] KTLA news anchors.

A video of the show titled “KTLA 5 Morning News Anchors Get Redpilled,” shows the anchors discussing the matter at hand, specifically regarding California’s 55 gallon-of-water-per-day.

“I’m not sure how I feel about this,” said anchor Jessica Holmes to her co-anchors. “You’re not going to be allowed to shower and do a load of laundry in the same day.”

While that may sound insane, what California Attorney Richard Lee breaks down the hypothetical figures.

“Doing a load of laundry takes about 40 to 50 gallons of water. Taking a shower for about eight minutes uses about 17 gallons of water. Well, there’s a limitation of your daily use of water, 55 gallons per day. So that means if you’re taking a shower and doing a load of laundry, you can’t do both without being in violation of the law.”

According to California water expert Kristi Diener, though, those figures aren’t totally accurate, stating that the anchor “doesn’t have the facts exactly correct.”

“Right now there is no way to monitor individual indoor usage, nor is there a way to separate indoor watering from outdoor watering. The ‘standard’ for indoor use has been set at 55-gallon per person per day, eventually decreasing to 52.5 gallons in 2025, and 50 gallons per person per day by 2030. The first standard will be adopted no later than June 2022.”

While that actually makes things sound worse than before… Well, it may be because it is.

“The water agency has to create a water budget that combines all usage across their entire service area, and then determine how they are going to meet this budget. If they go over, they may have to give rebates for tearing out lawns, credits for low-flow fixtures, raise water rates, charge for irrigation meter installation, or impose fines for using too much.

How they will implement the water budget has not been determined, but they will be subject to monthly reporting requirements and fined $1000 per day when they go over. If they exceed the budget in a dry year, the fine is $10,000 every day they go over. There will also be a whole new level of bureaucracy created with a new ‘governing body’ to oversee water suppliers, and an enforcement arm,” Diener states, making things sound all the more ominous for Californians.

 

Trump Issues Fewest Regs in 44 Years, Three Years Running

The Trump administration, under orders to slash Obama-era regulations, has also issued the fewest new rules since the government began counting them in 1975.

For a third year, Trump’s administration has broken the record for issuing the fewest regulations and rules, a radical departure from the eight years of former President Barack Obama.

According to Clyde Wayne Crews, the regulation expert and policy vice president at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Federal Register published 2,964 final rules.

Religious People Think Democrats Will Strip Our Rights Because It’s True
A professor claims religious people are afraid of atheists and Democrats because they’re projecting ignorance and hatred. Maybe instead religious people just follow the news.

“White evangelicals fear atheists and Democrats would strip away their rights. Why?” asks a recent op-ed in the Washington Post. The op-ed author, Paul A. Djupe, a professor at Denison University and scholar with the Public Religion Research Institute, offered two completely out-of-touch reasons.

The first is “because that’s what they’re hearing, quite explicitly, from conservative media, religious elites, partisan commentators and some politicians, including the president.” The second is an “inverted golden rule,” meaning white evangelical Protestants “express low levels of tolerance for atheists, which leads them to expect intolerance from atheists in return.”

It’s not about projection or an authoritarian impulse. Religious conservaties worry atheists and Democrats will strip their rights because they have repeatedly witnessed attempts, typically by Democrats, to strip them of their religious liberties.

Examples of Democrats’ attempts to gut religious liberties abound. Perhaps the most high-profile example was the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) federal mandate in 2011, as part of the Affordable Care Act, mandating that certain employers provide all FDA-approved contraceptives, including abortifacients, in their health insurance plans. The narrow religious exemption did not include religious nonprofits such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic order of nuns that manages homes for the elderly poor across America, nor businesses such as Hobby Lobby.

A district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled against the Little Sisters of the Poor, and it was only in 2016 before the U.S. Supreme Court that the liberties of the religious order were secured. Hobby Lobby won in a separate 2014 case.

Democrats Attack Religious Liberty in Law and Institutions

This is hardly the only recent example. Over the last decade and a half, a number of jurisdictions, including the state of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., have targeted Christian adoption agencies that refuse to place children with same-sex or unmarried couples. Many of these adoption agencies have since closed.

The pro-choice organization NARAL, a prominent supporter of Democratic candidates, opposes conscience laws that allow medical practitioners to exempt themselves from activities that violate their religious beliefs, such as abortion or euthanasia.

Several Democratic presidential candidates have declared their support for legislation that would prohibit employers — including Christian schools or organizations — from maintaining rules about their employees’ sexual behavior. When the media reported that Vice President Mike Pence’s wife Karen had taken a position at an evangelical Virginia school that prohibits employees and students from homosexual behavior, left-leaning secular media ruthlessly attacked her. A cake baker in suburban Denver, despite the U.S. Supreme Court upholding his religious liberty in 2018, is still facing harassment by the state of Colorado.

Federal law still prohibits employers discriminating based on a person’s religious beliefs or affiliation, but conservative Christians can read between the lines. If city, county, and state governments are willing to target people for their “bigoted” beliefs, and if left-leaning judges seem increasingly willing to rule against religious liberty, it’s hard to imagine governments will be objective, neutral arbiters in their hiring practices toward religious conservatives.

Much the same can be said regarding many of our nation’s education institutions. If a university either explicitly promotes or willfully ignores leftist activism that seeks to silence opposing viewpoints — such as Middlebury College’s treatment of Polish academic, politician, and devout Catholic Ryszard Legutko — it’s fair to assume such institutions will not be hiring anyone who reminds them of Legutko. We’d be foolish to think this doesn’t also apply to woke companies.

Djupe’s Conclusion Is Flawed

Djupe’s research polled a cross-section of American society, more than 2,500 people, which included a variety of religious and political beliefs. Respondents were asked whether certain selected groups should be permitted to exercise various liberties, such as giving speeches in the community, teaching in public schools, or running for public office.

As evidence of tolerance among atheists and Democrats, Djupe and fellow researcher and political scientist Ryan Burge discovered that 65 percent of atheists and 53 percent of Democrats who named Christian fundamentalists their least-liked group were willing to allow them to engage in three or more of these activities. This, Djupe notes, is a higher proportion with tolerance than the overall sample and a higher proportion than white evangelicals. Ergo, Djupe and Burge conclude evangelicals fear atheists and Democrats not because these groups intend to restrict their rights, but because religious conservatives aim to do this to their political enemies.

Perhaps, though, restrictions on conservative Christians giving speeches, teaching in public schools, or running for public office are not theoretical. Across the United States over the last generation, real-life people of faith have suffered the infringement of their religious freedom. Whether or not those doing the infringing are atheists is unclear, but they are almost always on the political left.

Democrats’ Attacks on Religious Liberties Are Nothing New

This is why white evangelicals are afraid Democrats will attack their religious liberty — because they already have been for years. It also largely explains why this same demographic remains electorally wedded to Republicans, including President Donald Trump.

Notice that in almost all the above examples, it has been the judicial branch slowing the tide of anti-religious liberty initiatives. This has been the case even when activist judges at one level are overruled by more conservative judges at a higher level of the court system.

Trump is appointing right-leaning federal judges at rapid rates. Thus far, he has appointed 50 judges to circuit court benches, double what President Barack Obama had achieved at this point in his first term. Judges, many religious conservatives wager, may be one of the most effective means of safeguarding religious liberty.

None of this is news. Conservatives, and certainly religious conservatives, have been talking for generations about the need for a conservative judiciary to prevent attacks on America’s most treasured freedoms. That liberal mainstream media and secular academia are allied in deflecting attention from this truth in favor of research aimed at maligning religious conservatives demonstrates how out of touch they remain. Who says they learned something after the 2016 presidential election?

Gun regulators have admitted to violating the Second Amendment

On Dec. 11, Gun Owners of America argued before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that the government’s recently enacted ban on bump stocks is illegal.

The organization’s argument is by no means controversial. The government bureau that made them illegal, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, even admitted in a court filing that it lacks authority under the Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act to issue the rule. In short, it violated the Second Amendment as a way of reaping more power for itself, and that should not be tolerated.

The GOA can and will continue fighting the illicit actions of gun regulators as they arise in court, and they will be penalized; however, this piecemeal approach can only go so far. It is high time for Second Amendment advocates in Congress and the White House to begin taking action to reform the rogue bureau.

After all, this isn’t the first time the ATF has disregarded the law. Just two months ago, a judge similarly found the bureau to have been enforcing laws that don’t exist against gun owners. The bureau has been pretending that receivers are bound by the same draconian D.C. regulations as entire put-together firearms and have been threatening their manufacturers with prosecution for not going through the full regulatory process.

The methods the bureau has used to generate firearm cases against the American people have always been questionable. In the 1970s and 1980s, Congress studied the issue closely, with a Senate subcommittee report ultimately concluding that “it is apparent that ATF enforcement tactics made possible by current federal firearms laws are constitutionally, legally, and practically reprehensible.”…………….

With the ATF’s abuses are still being reported in the news and are fresh on the public’s mind, now is the time for the Senate to begin holding hearings and getting to the bottom of the exploitation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee should call in ATF head Regina Lombardo to discuss the bureau’s legal violations and what steps, if any, are being taken to correct them.

Meanwhile, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy’s Senate appropriations subcommittee should call the tax bureau’s leaders, Mary J. Ryan and Daniel Riordan, in to see if they accept the deregulatory and transparency orders currently on the books and what action, if any, they are taking to ensure compliance.

If the ATF’s or the tax bureau’s leaders refuse to come before Congress or give lackluster answers to congressional questioning, the Trump administration can and should replace both. As luck would have it, Lombardo, Ryan, and Riordan are only serving in acting roles, so the White House has every right to replace them with permanent leadership officials at any time. In the case of the tax bureau, this would not even require Senate confirmation.

Gun Owners of America will continue to monitor the behavior of both bureaus and fight their illegal activity in court, but substantive change will never occur if we do not receive a helping hand from our friends in Congress and the White House.

It’s a Short Barreled Shotgun folks.

See the source image

 

Open Letter regarding the Franklin Armory Reformation Firearm

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATP) has received questions from industry members and the general public regarding a new type of firearm produced by the Franklin Armory®. This firearm, known as the “Reformation”, utilizes a barrel that is produced with straight lands and grooves. This design contrasts with conventional rifling, in which the barrel’s lands and grooves are spiral or twisted, and are designed to impart a spin onto the projectile.

The ATF Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) has examined the Reformation firearm for purposes of classification under the applicable provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA) and the National Firearms Act (NFA). During this examination, FATD determined that the straight lands and grooves incorporated into the barrel design of the Reformation do not impart a spin onto a projectile when fired through the barrel. Consequently, the Reformation is not a “rifle” as that term is defined in the GCA and NFA. Moreover, because the Reformation is not chambered for shotgun shells, it is not a shotgun as defined in the NFA. Given these determinations, the Reformation is classified as a shotgun that is subject only to the provisions of the GCA (i.e., it is not a weapon subject to the provisions of the NFA).

Under the provisions of the GCA, if a Reformation firearm is equipped with a barrel that is less than 18-inches in overall length, that firearm is classified to be a short-barreled shotgun (SBS). When a Reformation is configured as a GCA/SBS, specific provisions of the GCA apply to the transfer of that firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to a non-licensee, and to the transport of that firearm by a non-licensee in interstate or foreign commerce. These provisions are:

  1. 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(4) requires that an individual wishing to transport an SBS in interstate or foreign commerce obtain approval by the Attorney General to transport the firearm.
  2. 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(4) requires authorization from the Attorney General consistent with public safety and necessity prior to the sale or delivery of an SBS to an individual by an FFL.

The Attorney General has delegated the authority for approval of requests pursuant to these sections· to ATF.

The Franklin Armory Reformation is the first firearm produced and sold by an FFL that ATF has classified as a GCS/SBS. Because GCA/SBS firearms have not previously been available in the marketplace, existing federal firearm regulations do not provide a mechanism to process or approve requests from FFLs for approval to transfer a GCA/SBS to a non-licensee pursuant to section 922 (b)(4) or requests from non-licensees to transport a GCA/SBS pursuant to section 922(a)(4).

ATF is currently developing the procedures and forms to address this new type of firearm. Once promulgated, these new procedures and forms will provide the mechanism necessary for FFL holders and owners of GCA/SBS firearms to request the statutorily required approvals. Until such time, you should be aware of the following:

  1. An FFL may lawfully sell/transfer a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to the holder of an appropriate FFL (a GCA/SBS cannot be transferred to the holder of a type 06 or type 03 FFL).
  2. No mechanism currently exists for ATF to authorize a request from an FFL to transfer a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to a non-licensee. Therefore, until ATF is able to promulgate a procedure for processing and appr.oving such requests, an FFL may not lawfully transfer a Reformation configured as a GCA/SBS to a non-licensee.
  3. No mechanism currently exists for an unlicensed individual who possesses a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to submit a request and receive approval to transport the GCA/SBS across state lines. Therefore, until ATF is able to promulgate a procedure for processing and approving such requests, the possessor or owner of a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, may not lawfully transport the firearm across state lines.

Any questions pertaining to this Open Letter may be sent to the Firearms Industry Programs Branch at FIPB@atf.gov or (202) 648-7190.

Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Launch of Operation Relentless Pursuit

Who are the Mayors of these most-violent cities?
Albuquerque – Tim Keller D
Baltimore – Catherine Pugh D
Cleveland – Frank Jackson D
Detroit – Mike Dugan D
Kansas City – Quinten Lucas D
Memphis – Jim Strickland D
Milwaukee – Tom Barrett D
Anyone see a pattern?

 

The Operation Will Surge Federal Law Enforcement Resources into Seven of America’s Most Violent Cities

Today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the launch of Operation Relentless Pursuit, an initiative aimed at combating violent crime in seven of America’s most violent cities through a surge in federal resources.

Joined at a press conference in Detroit, Michigan, by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Acting Director Regina Lombardo, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, and U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald W. Washington, Attorney General Barr pledged to intensify federal law enforcement resources into Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, and Milwaukee – seven American cities with violent crime levels several times the national average.

“Americans deserve to live in safety,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “And while nationwide violent crime rates are down, many cities continue to see levels of extraordinary violence. Operation Relentless Pursuit seeks to ensure that no American city is excluded from the peace and security felt by the majority of Americans, while also supporting those who serve and protect in these communities with the resources, training, and equipment they need to stay safe.”

“The men and women of ATF are deeply committed to and focused on reducing crime gun violence in our communities,” said ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo. “We are proud that our efforts have significantly contributed to the historic reductions in violence that our nation has realized in recent years. Operation Relentless Pursuit combines the resources of ATF, DEA, FBI, and U.S. Marshals to support our state and local law enforcement partners in those cities that – regrettably – continue to be plagued by rates of violent crime that are simply too high. Through Relentless Pursuit, we pledge to hold accountable the trigger-pullers, firearm traffickers, violent criminals and those who supply them the guns to terrorize our communities. ATF will aggressively utilize every available tool, including our crime gun enforcement teams, National Integrated Ballistic Information Network and firearms tracing to identify, investigate and support the prosecution of the most violent firearm offenders.”

“Drug traffickers – including cartels and street gangs – will stop at nothing to turn a profit, often using violence and intimidation to expand their reach,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “This targeted surge of resources will further strengthen our ability to work with our federal, state, and local partners to pursue the worst offenders and make our communities safer.”

“The FBI remains committed to providing our specialized expertise and resources to assist our federal, state and local partners fighting violent crime,” said FBI Director Christopher A. Wray. “We are here today to reaffirm our dedication to reducing violent crime in the cities selected for Operation Relentless Pursuit to combat the threats that arise from gangs and criminal enterprises that drive violence in the communities we are sworn to protect.”

“The U.S. Marshals Service is proud of the integral role we play in supporting Attorney General Barr’s strong leadership and commitment to combating violent crime and enhancing public safety throughout our nation,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald W. Washington. “We will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to make communities safer by addressing violent crime at its core and taking the worst of the worst fugitives and other felons off the streets.”

The operation will involve increasing the number of federal law enforcement officers to the selected cities, as well as bulking up federal task forces through collaborative efforts with state and local law enforcement partners. The surge in federal agents will be complemented by a financial commitment of up to $71 million in federal grant funding that can be used to hire new officers, pay overtime and benefits, finance federally deputized task force officers, and provide mission-critical equipment and technology.

Pennsylvania: Attorney General Issues Opinion on Partially-Finished Receivers in Extreme Deviation from Federal Law

Once again, anti-gun officials contort case law and statute to undermine our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Today, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a tortured opinion defining partially-manufactured receivers as firearms.  This opinion flies in stark contrast to the current, and widely held, understanding that receivers that are unfinished and require additional work to operate as a functional frame or receiver are not considered firearms and therefore aren’t regulated as such.

Shapiro relies on two arguments to arrive at this absurd result.  One, that unfinished receivers are “designed” to expel a projectile by action of an explosive. It doesn’t take a law degree to figure out how backward this thinking is.   Partially-manufactured lowers are explicitly designed so that they are unable to expel a projectile by action of an explosive without further work.  In other words, by their very nature, they are not firearms.

Two, Shapiro claims that these receivers “may be readily converted (to expel a projectile)” which he argues is analogous to the “may readily be restored” language of the federal National Firearms Act.

With this make-believe bridge, Shapiro then imports federal case law concerning the “may be readily restored” (to a machine gun) language to draw up extremely broad contours of what would be considered a firearm under state law. He uses extreme case law to lower the threshold for what constitutes a firearm to facilitate his anti-gun position and leanings.

Shapiro’s “theory” of treating non-functioning blocks of polymer, steel, or aluminum as “firearms” is the equivalent of calling a pile of aluminum tubes a bicycle or even considering a hickory or ash tree a baseball bat.

Make No Mistake — This opinion applies to much more than unfinished receiver kits!

Using the extremely vague description provided by AG Shapiro, almost any chunk of material (metal, polymer, etc.) could be considered a firearm and he and his anti-gun cronies can use this precedent to destroy our freedoms one step at a time.

Judicial Watch: ‘The FBI Needs to be Shut Down,’ Transferred to U.S. Marshals Service.

From 2018?  Kinda ‘prophetical’ wasn’t it?

Noting some of the major blunders of the FBI, such as failing to follow protocols with the Florida school shooter and failing to follow leads on the Boston Marathon bombers, Judicial Watch’s Director of Investigations Chris Farrell said FBI Director Christopher Wray should be replaced and that the entire FBI should be restructured as a “new investigative arm of the U.S. Marshals Service.”

“People do need to go,” said Farrell on the Feb. 16 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight.  “You can start with Director [Christopher] Wray.”

“Frankly, I would go back 200 years to the U.S. Marshals Service,” said Farrell, a former Military Intelligence officer and counterintelligence expert.  “I would create a new division for investigations, and in about six to eight months I would shut the FBI down. Agents would be allowed to apply for, or laterally transfer to a new investigative arm of the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI would cease to exist. That’s my idea.”

When guest host Trish Regan expressed reservations about completely revamping the FBI, Farrell said, “There’s a systemic, institutional problem. We can walk it back to the Tsarnaev brothers [Boston Marathon bombing] where they missed the leads, multiple leads on them. You can go back to Whitey Bulger for that matter. You can go back to existing corruption in El Paso, Texas. There’s all sorts of problems.”

“At this point, you’ve got a 200-and-some-odd record of the U.S. Marshals Service performing honorable work,” he said.  “So let’s create an investigative branch or division within the U.S. Marshals Service. Let the very fine agents, at the rank and file level who are trying to do their jobs, let them apply for, be screened, and then be admitted to this new investigative division. Then let’s take what’s left over of an obvious, deeply flawed organization, certainly at the headquarters, and shake it out.”

Farrell continued, “Let’s start over. We don’t want to lose good people and we don’t have to. We can simply put them in a new investigative arm of the U.S. Marshals Service, an organization that has served honorably for more than 200 years.”

Trish Regan then started to talk about holding certain FBI officials accountable and Farrell said, “Here’s the problem: If nothing changes, nothing changes. There has to be a radical, penetrating, severe examination. You have to turn over the furniture here.”

“We have to reset the thinking,” said Farrell. “It’s an institutional, cultural question. The entity itself has become poisoned.”

As for the FBI’s undeniable failure in the Florida school shooting case, Reuters reported, “A person described as someone close to accused gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19, called an FBI tip line on Jan. 5, weeks before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, to report concerns about him, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

“’The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,’” it said.

“That information should have been forwarded to the FBI’s Miami field office for further investigation, but ‘we have determined that these protocols were not followed,’ the agency said.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, has called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign.

Congress to fund CDC gun violence research for first time in decades

The CDC could always research ‘gun violence’. The Dickey amendment just kept them from promoting a political gun control agenda.

Congress is poised to approve $25 million in gun violence research as part of its year-end spending deal due Friday.

The sum is half what Democratic leaders requested, but it would be the first time in two decades that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would receive direct funding to look into the issue. The funding is part of the deal Congress must pass by Friday to avoid a government shutdown, with half of the money going to the CDC and the rest going to the National Institutes of Health, which provide grants to scientists.

Democrat Rosa DeLauro, who is chairwoman of the House appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, said the funding would allow the CDC to help Congress better understand the correlation between domestic violence and gun violence, how people can store their guns more safely, and how to prevent suicides, which account for two-thirds of gun deaths.

Despite the funding victory, Democrats were unable to convince the Senate to take up a bill that would require universal background checks, which was passed by the House but is opposed by President Trump.

The push for gun violence research is part of the reaction to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, seven years ago. Cries for change grew louder following mass shootings at an Orlando nightclub, a country music concert in Las Vegas, and a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Last year, Congress passed a change to the Dickey Amendment, which was enacted in 1996 and prohibits federal agencies from advocating or promoting gun control, to “clarify” that agencies could research gun violence. Opponents have pushed to have the prohibition repealed, saying it had a chilling effect on gun violence research. Even with the change in language, research languished because Congress hadn’t appropriated funding.

WE NOW KNOW

When the Soviet Union collapsed and its archives were opened, certain Cold War controversies became susceptible of definitive resolution. Cold War historian John Lewis Gaddis titled his 1997 book on the subject We Now Know. By the same token, publication of the Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA abuse and related issues should similarly bring closure to the Russia hoax touted by the Democrats and their media adjunct over the past three years. As to the status of the Steele Dossier and the invalidity of the FISA warrants taken out on Carter Page to spy on the Trump campaign, we now know.

Having joined up with the intelligence and law enforcement authorities who perpetrated the unbelievable abuses involved here, the luminaries of the mainstream media are not inclined to apologize or engage in introspection of any kind. On the contrary, they have chosen sides and carry on the battle without looking back.

If there is to be a reckoning with the deceit and dishonesty that have pervaded our public discourse on matters related to the hoax, we are on our own. That is what I mean to do in this series. What we have here is by far the biggest scandal in American political history and the bigwigs of the mainstream media served as accomplices of the perpetrators.

Following up on “After Horowitz,” I want to highlight the overview provided by Senator Josh Hawley at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Horowitz this past Wednesday (video below).

Quotable quote: “The DNC pays for the Steele dossier, solicits the Steele dossier, and then gets the Federal Bureau of Investigation to go get FISA warrants, surveil an American citizen, surveil a presidential campaign, all on the basis of this manufactured garbage that they paid for. I mean that’s extraordinary. That has got to be a first time in history. In fact, let me just ask you, Mr. Horowitz, are you aware ever of another presidential campaign being targeted by the FBI during the campaign like the Trump campaign was?” (Answer: No.)

United Nations climate talks collapse after Trump shuns Paris pact

MADRID — U.N. climate negotiations ended in disarray on Sunday, amid worries that President Donald Trump will win reelection next year and follow through on his promises to withdraw the U.S. from the international effort to head off catastrophic changes across the planet.

The talks exposed deep rifts among industrialized nations, fast-growing economies like China and India and the poorest countries – divides that the U.S. had helped bridge under former President Barack Obama in the run-up to the 2015 Paris climate accord. With Trump moving to pull out of the pact, delegates from many countries retreated behind their long-held grievances over how to bear the burdens of reducing greenhouse gases and preparing for the worsening effects of a changing climate.

We Just Got a Rare Look at National Security Surveillance. It Was Ugly.
A high-profile inspector general report has served as fodder for arguments about President Trump. But its findings about surveillance are important beyond partisan politics.

“IF THE FBI WAS WILLING TO BE THIS SHADY WHILE INVESTIGATING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, WHAT DOES IT GET AWAY WITH IN LOWER-PROFILE CASES?”

When you’ve even lost the proggies at the NY Times…….

WASHINGTON — When a long-awaited inspector general report about the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation became public this week, partisans across the political spectrum mined it to argue about whether President Trump falsely smeared the F.B.I. or was its victim. But the report was also important for reasons that had nothing to do with Mr. Trump.

At more than 400 pages, the study amounted to the most searching look ever at the government’s secretive system for carrying out national-security surveillance on American soil. And what the report showed was not pretty.

The Justice Department’s independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, and his team uncovered a staggeringly dysfunctional and error-ridden process in how the F.B.I. went about obtaining and renewing court permission under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.

“The litany of problems with the Carter Page surveillance applications demonstrates how the secrecy shrouding the government’s one-sided FISA approval process breeds abuse,” said Hina Shamsi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project. “The concerns the inspector general identifies apply to intrusive investigations of others, including especially Muslims, and far better safeguards against abuse are necessary.”

Congress enacted FISA in 1978 to regulate domestic surveillance for national-security investigations — monitoring suspected spies and terrorists, as opposed to ordinary criminals. Investigators must persuade a judge on a special court that a target is probably an agent of a foreign power. In 2018, there were 1,833 targets of such orders, including 232 Americans.

Most of those targets never learn that their privacy has been invaded, but some are sent to prison on the basis of evidence derived from the surveillance. And unlike in ordinary criminal wiretap cases, defendants are not permitted to see what investigators told the court about them to obtain permission to eavesdrop on their calls and emails.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Mr. Horowitz’s report on Wednesday, both Republicans and Democrats suggested that legislation tightening restrictions on FISA surveillance may be coming, and the A.C.L.U. submitted ideas to the committee.

Civil libertarians for years have called the surveillance court a rubber stamp because it only rarely rejects wiretap applications. Out of 1,080 requests by the government in 2018, for example, government records showed that the court fully denied only one.

Defenders of the system have argued that the low rejection rate stems in part from how well the Justice Department self-polices and avoids presenting the court with requests that fall short of the legal standard. They have also stressed that officials obey a heightened duty to be candid and provide any mitigating evidence that might undercut their request.

But the inspector general found major errors, material omissions and unsupported statements about Mr. Page in the materials that went to the court. F.B.I. agents cherry-picked the evidence, telling the Justice Department information that made Mr. Page look suspicious and omitting material that cut the other way, and the department passed that misleading portrait onto the court.

Thousands of lawful California gun owners are being denied ammunition purchases. Here’s why

It’s not a bug. This is a feature of the new law.

Christopher Lapiniski, operations manager at Last Stand Readiness & Tactical, describes the hurdles to buying ammunition in California on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, at the gun store on Florin Road in Sacramento.

Zachary Berg usually buys guns and ammunition with relative ease. After all, he’s a Sutter County sheriff’s deputy and needs them for his job. California’s stringent gun laws usually don’t apply to him.

But Berg couldn’t buy shotgun shells at his local hardware store in Yuba City prior to a duck hunting trip last month. He was rejected under California’s stringent ammunition background check program that took effect July 1, because his personal information didn’t match what state officials had in their database.

Berg was one of tens of thousands of Californians who have been turned away from buying ammunition at firearms and sporting goods stores, even though they appear to be lawfully able to do so, a Sacramento Bee review of state data shows. Between July 1 and November, nearly one in every five ammunition purchases was rejected by the California Department of Justice, the figures show.

Of the 345,547 ammunition background checks performed, only 101 stopped the buyer because he or she was a “prohibited person” who can’t legally possess ammunition, according to state Department of Justice data.

What About the FISA Court?

Ever since this dog-and-pony show culminating in today’s articles of impeachment got started, something has been on my mind.

It’s clear the FBI is corrupt at the upper most levels. Chief Weasel Jim Comey, and the dishonor roll of his underlings: McCabe, Strzok, Page, and lots more are all partisan hacks. We know this. We know they used the absolutely bogus Steele dossier to justify the need to monitor American citizens to the FISA courts (overview). Borepatch started the day with post that it’s time to Disband the FBI. Count me on board with that. While, from all I know, the majority of the agents and lower level staff are still honorable, there’s a saying in management classes (I originally heard it was taken from the mafia) that goes, “the fish rots from the head down.” If there are systemic problems in an organization, the problem lies in the top management’s offices.

What I’ve been saying since this whole mess started is “what about the FISA courts?” In my mind, if they were honest and honorable, they’d bust the FBI like 13 year olds pretending to be college students at spring break in south Florida.* I’d very publicly and loudly tell the FBI, “you’ve proven you’re not trustworthy. Because of that, from now on there will be no warrants issued to you unless you bring 10 times the amount of justification we used to require, and you’d better have far more than one source. You will be questioned about it relentlessly, and you’d better damned well have every last detail documented.” Or something similar. Let everybody know the FBI is getting their chops busted for their partisan politics.

The fact that this hasn’t happened doesn’t mean the FISA courts didn’t slap down the FBI in some classified meetings that we’re not allowed to know about. The fact that it wasn’t public, though, implies that the FISA court is just as rotten as the heads of the FBI fish. They could have dressed them down in secret but made a public statement about how shocked – shocked! I tell you – and how appalled the court is at having been lied to by the FBI. The fact that didn’t happen tells you the FISA court needs to be disbanded, just like the FBI. The whole Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act needs to be torn up and started again from blank paper.

Trump on IG Report: ‘This Was an Attempted Overthrow… We Caught ‘em Red-Handed.’

He’s not wrong.

And a lot of people were in on it and they got caught. They got caught red-handed. And I look forward to the Durham report, which is coming out in the not-too-distant future. He’s got his own information, which is this information plus, plus, plus. It’s an incredible thing that happened and we’re lucky we caught them.

The IG **Admits** DOJ/FBI Attempted A Putsch

The IG report, after reading through a good part of it, states that seventeen “errors” were made by the FBI. May I remind you of an indisputable fact: Errors are randomly distributed.

That is, let’s assume you intend to drive at 40mph.  If you make an error you will operate your car some of the time at 38mph, and some of the time at 42mph.  The errors, if they are actual errors, will be randomly distributed around the correct action.  Some of the errors will place you inside the correct action and some of them will be place you outside of the correct action.  Approximately an equal number of errors will fall on each side of the correct action; some will help you, some hurt, but given enough errors there should be an approximately equal number in each direction.

If your speed, as measured at 1 minute intervals, is 40, 42, 45, 43, 41, 40, 46, 50, 42 and 45 mph that is not “error.”  You are instead driving with a floor of 40mph; your intent is to drive at no slower than 40mph.

The probability of an error is 50% in each direction.  Therefore half the errors should have been to Trump’s benefit.

However, exactly zero of them were to Trump’s benefit.

The odds of this being random chance can be computed.

The probability of the first error being to Trump’s detriment is 0.5 (50%.)

Each successive “error” is also equally probable to be of either benefit or detriment.  So when the second error occurs for them to both be to Trump’s detriment by random chance — that is, if it’s an actual error without motivation or bias, is 0.50 * 0.50, or 1 in 4.

For seventeen “errors” to be all in the same direction is 0.5 ^ 17, or exactly 1 in 131,072.

This is not quite as bad of odds as winning the Powerball but it clowns the claim that such were errors and not intentional acts that evince a predetermined goal or desire.

Indeed in a criminal trial should odds of 1 in 131,072 be established that is almost certainly enough for you to be convicted and sent to prison.  Remember that the standard in a criminal trial is not “beyond question” or “with absolute proof” — it is beyond a reasonable doubt.

1 in 131,072 does not admit reasonable doubt.

The FBI and Department of Justice did, beyond reasonable doubt, intentionally target Donald Trump and his associates as a candidate and as President for surveillance and did, with corrupt intent beyond said reasonable doubt, intend to harm both him and his associates.

This did not occur due to error.  The manifest weight of the evidence as proved by fundamental, middle-school mathematics, is that this campaign was intentional, it was malicious, and given that it involved knowingly false statements to a court by means of omission it was criminal.

To refuse to prosecute everyone so-involved is for the United States Department of Justice and FBI to declare themselves above the law and to declare the Constitution of the United States, as a contract between the citizens and its government, null and void due to the intentional refusal to enforce same for political reasons.

It does not matter whether or not the scheme ultimately did or does in the future (e.g. impeachment) succeed.

The IG report establishes that the FBI and DOJ attempted to conduct a putsch in the United States to overthrow a democratically-elected President, along with imprisoning his associates and staff members by concocting knowingly-false pretense for surveillance and entrapment.

The IG report, in an attempt to claim that there was no “wrongdoing” but simple mistakes has mathematically proved that in fact the campaign to overthrow the President of the United States was intentional with a sufficient level of probability to secure convictions under criminal law for virtually any crime in the US.

It is important to note that the prosecutions and convictions obtained since the beginning with this process have been for obstructing an illegally-initiated investigation, as is, I note, the currently pending prosecution of Stone.  That people in this nation believe that citizens have an obligation to comply and cooperate with an unlawfully-initiated investigation is exactly the sort of premise that the Politburo of Russia used to present, or the Communist Chinese Party presents today.

You decide what your response to this outright admission of wrongdoing by the IG shall be America.

You did pass middle-school math, right?