On Wednesday afternoon at Union Station in Washington, D.C., a bicycle tire exploded. Some people were scared. Naturally, according to one self-described "lefty," this is proof that we need more gun laws.
At Union Station in DC. Just fled the building w 100s of others bc we thought we heard gunshots—it was a bicycle tire. PLEASE PASS GUN LAWS.— Eva Colen (@evacolen) June 22, 2016
A sampling of some of D.C.'s gun laws:
What, pray tell, short of a complete ban on handguns (which was actually the law in D.C. prior to 2008 Supreme Court decision in the case D.C. vs. Heller), could the District possibly do to increase gun control?
She then tried to clarify her tweet:
For those who struggle w logic: Americans should feel safe in public spaces. If you travel by train, you know how easy a shooting would be.— Eva Colen (@evacolen) June 22, 2016
Which would make sense, if guns weren't already prohibited on Amtrak trains except as declared and checked baggage. A person cannot carry a weapon onto a train.
This is also a sign that Americans, regardless of their thoughts on guns, need more education about them. An exploding bike tire and a gunshot are two very different noises. And for heaven's sake, don't use D.C. as an example of a place with lax gun laws.
President Obama was disappointed by the Supreme Court’s blocking his executive action over illegal immigration, thanks to a 4-4 tie.
“It takes us further from the country we aspire to be,” Obama sighed while speaking at the White House.
These are students, teachers, doctors, etc. – “they’re Americans in every way but on paper,” he said.
The stalemate prevents Obama from deferring the deportation of millions of immigrants in the DAPA program. While Thursday’s decision does not affect existing DREAMers, it is “heartbreaking” for immigrants who raised families here, he said.
The court’s lack of a ruling is the direct consequence of “Republican failure to give fair hearing to Merrick Garland,” Obama argued. They refuse to “fully staff” the bench.
Obama also blamed the SCOTUS outcome on the fact that it’s an election year, arguing that candidates are using immigration to “scare people.” They are using the word “amnesty,” he insisted, to “whip up votes.”
The president skewered Donald Trump’s immigration plans in particular, arguing that building a wall and deporting millions of illegal immigrant amounts to “abetting what is factually incorrect.”
“It’s not going to work,” he said. “It’s a fantasy.”
“Immigration is not something to fear,” the president continued, before noting that immigration reform “will happen.”
House Democrats have sent thrills up the legs of media figures and many left-wing activists with their "sit-in" protest stunt, the ostensible purpose of which is to force gun control votes in response to the Orlando terrorist attack. Their aim is to restrict both the second and fifth amendment rights of a group of US citizens that happens to be disproportionally Muslim. At the core of the current debate is how secret government watch lists -- which have wrongfully ensnared innocent Americans, including several Congressional Democrats -- can be used to prevent would-be terrorists from obtaining firearms. The vast majority of people on these lists are already barred from buying guns, "and the terrorist watch list already gets pinged when an individual applies for a background check for a firearm purchase. Matches are passed to the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, which may then investigate and block the purchase if it is illegal." As we noted earlier in the week, Senate Democrats failed to win simple majorities, let alone filibuster-proof majorities, for their preferred, sweeping legislation -- which would have done nothing to prevent the Pulse nightclub jihadist atrocity (as I write this, a potential mass shooting appears to be unfolding in Germany, where gun laws are extremely restrictive).
Having fallen well short of achieving their agenda, Harry Reid's caucus proceeded to filibuster two majority-supported compromise bills offered by Republicans, which would have further tied a terror watch list to the gun-buying process, and strengthened the existing federal background check system. These common sense reforms were more incremental and more protective of Americans' constitutional rights than reactionary Democrats would have liked, but they represented incremental bipartisan progress. Democrats balked in near-lockstep, killing both measures, before ranting furiously about "inaction" and shamefully accusing Republicans of wanting to arm ISIS. Lower chamber Democrats have now gotten in on the act, engaging in self-congratulatory preening (they're fundraising off of the situation, naturally), agitating for votes on gun control bills. My free advice to Republican leadership:
Paul Ryan & House GOP should march in there tomorrow and immediately pass Cornyn/Grassley compromise bills that Senate Dems filibustered.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) June 23, 2016
Dare Democrats vote en masse against bills that make it harder for potential terrorists to buy guns, and improve federal background checks. Since they're demanding action (do something!), give them some action -- and force them to decide whether they'll waltz into the very cynical trap they thought they'd laid for the GOP. On some level, the Left has already won this public relations battle because basically all we're all talking about gun legislation. The Islamist killer in Orlando passed a background check and used a legally-purchased gun. The San Bernardino killers used legally-purchased but illegally-transdered guns, in addition to building explosives. The Islamist killers in Paris used illegal guns. The Islamist killers in Boston used improvised bombs. The Islamist killers in London and Madrid used more sophisticated bombs. The Islamist killers on 9/11 used box cutters and commercial jets. I could go on (and on, and on), but you get the drift. By training the political class' attention on gun control, the Obama administration's allies are helping to avoid serious discussion of more relevant concerns -- which happen to expose massive government failures in the face of a lethal threat to the American people. Here are three examples that have arisen since Orlando. Exhibit A:
"We don't have a strategy yet."— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 22, 2016
Pres. Obama, 656 days ago
"I'm not aware of any overall grand strategy at this point"
Gen Waldhauser, Today
The Commander-in-Chief admitted he didn't have a strategy to defeat the terrorist army his politically-motivated policies helped create, and intelligence about which his White House ignored and manipulated while dismissing ISIS as "jayvee" amateurs who'd been "contained." Roughly two years later, America's new top general in Africa testified before Congress that a comprehensive strategy for the group's destruction still doesn't exist, which "makes no sense." But guns. Exhibit B:
ISIS can draw on a "large cadre of Western fighters" that could attack in the U.S. and the terror threat posed by the group remains as dangerous as ever despite efforts to crush it militarily, the director of the CIA said Thursday. "Unfortunately, despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group's terrorism capability and global reach," CIA Director John Brennan testified to Congress using another acronym for the group.
But guns. Exhibit C:
Attorney General Loretta Lynch admitted today that the FBI is unaware of the whereabouts of Omar Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman. Salman has indicated she suspected Mateen was about to commit a terrorist attack, and even accompanied him to buy the weaponry he used to carry out the massacre. She insists, however, that as he left she tried to hold onto his arm so he wouldn’t leave. If the FBI believes she was aware of the impending attack, she could be prosecuted. “Has the shooter’s wife left the state of Florida?” a reporter asked Lynch during her press conference Tuesday. “Right now, I don’t know exactly the answer to that,” Lynch candidly replied. ”I believe she was going to travel but I do not know exactly her location now.”
Unreal. While the feds were busy redacting references to Islam and ISIS from phone transcripts that prove Omar Mateen's motivation for the slaughter -- and while the nation's top law enforcement official was suggesting we may never fully understand what motivated the "I'm doing this for ISIS" terrorist, while waxing poetic about "compassion, unity and love" -- the killer's accomplice vanished from under their noses. But guns.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which isn't exactly known for being a bastion of conservative thought, had some pretty harsh words for the Sen. Collins (R-ME) gun control amendment: they "strongly urged" members of the Senate to vote against the amendment as the no-fly lists are vague and riddled with errors.
The ACLU strongly urges you to vote against the Collins Amendment because it uses the error-prone and unfair watchlist system, along with vague and overbroad terms, as a predicate for a proceeding to deny a firearms permit. The Collins Amendment relies on both the No Fly List, by codifying its criteria, and the Selectee List, by direct reference. Relying on these lists would open the door to arbitrary and discriminatory government action.
The Collins Amendment would further entrench a watchlist system that is rife with problems. As we have long cautioned, our nation’s watchlisting system is error-prone and unreliable because it uses vague and overbroad criteria and secret evidence to place individuals on blacklists without a meaningful process to correct government error and clear their names. The government's internal guidance for watchlists specifies that nominations to the master watchlist need not be based on “concrete facts,” and it permits placement on the master watchlist based on uncorroborated or even questionably reliable information.
The ACLU then went on to criticize the Collins Amendment for lacking "even the most basic" protections of due process.
Meanwhile on the House floor, the Democrats were having a sit in/slumber party of sorts over lack of a vote on gun control. National Review's Charles C. W. Cooke pointed out the irony that civil rights activists were now having a sit in against expanded civil liberties.
John Lewis v. ACLU. 2016 is odd.— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) June 23, 2016
Update: It’s John Lewis, Peter King, and Donald Trump vs. ACLU. 2016 gets even weirder. https://t.co/kjPnDr63pp— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) June 23, 2016
When you've lost the ACLU, it's probably a good time to stop.
House Speaker Paul Ryan put Democrats in their place Thursday morning on Capitol Hill, calling their gun control sit-in a “publicity stunt” that is going nowhere.
The gun control amendment the Democrats are trying to push for a vote was rejected on a bipartisan basis, he reminded his colleagues. If Democrats want a vote on a bill on the floor, "they can go through regular order" and get enough votes for a petition. “That’s how the House works.”
“Instead, they’re trying to get on TV,” the speaker continued.
Not only that, but some liberal lawmakers are sending out fundraising emails.
He had proof.
Paul Ryan shows screenshots of Democrats fundraising off sit-in over gun control pic.twitter.com/Re7iVhMbBh— Alex Pappas (@AlexPappas) June 23, 2016
“If this is not a political stunt, then why are they trying to raise money off this?” he asked.
“They know this isn’t going anywhere,” he concluded. “Terrorism is the issue, and defeating terrorism is our focus here in the House.”
As Democrats continue their worthless grandstanding on gun control in Washington D.C. today, a pro-ISIS propaganda group has issued a guide about how to kill infidels. Not surprisingly, ISIS sympathizers and soldiers of the caliphate are urged to use all types of weapons and every day items for murder.
From The Foreign Desk:
When terrorists want to kill, they find a way to do it. Guns aren't the issue, Islamic terrorism is.
The Supreme Court voted in a 4-4 tie on United States v. Texas, which concerned the Obama administration's DAPA program that deferred deportations of some illegal immigrants. The tie decision means that the program's enforcement will still be blocked.
The SCOTUS immigration ruling pic.twitter.com/AOTzZDqmwW— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 23, 2016
As for what's next, that largely depends on who wins the election this November. If the Democratic candidate wins (and nominates a fellow left-leaning person to the Supreme Court), this means that the policy will likely go into place.
There will be a later appeal, so Obama immigration policy will be revived if Clinton wins and a democratic nominee provides a 5th vote— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 23, 2016
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that the ruling was a vital protection of separation of powers, and that the Supreme Court made the "right call."
“Before it could even be implemented, the President’s executive order granting de facto amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants was put on hold in court. The court system took the President’s own words into account that such an action would ‘violate our laws’ and be ‘very difficult to defend legally.’ Today, the Supreme Court made the right call. When Congress doesn’t give the President what he wants, the President doesn’t all the sudden gain the right to legislate all by himself. This ruling protects the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution—a foundational principle that has defended and continues to defend the American people from unchecked executive abuses.”
This post has been updated
Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who faced the most serious charges in the Freddie Gray case as he was the driver of the police van, was found not guilty for any wrongdoing in a Baltimore court on Thursday morning.
*More details to come
SCOTUS ruling steps back constitutional scrutiny of affirmative action programs, making them substantially more likely to be upheld.— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 23, 2016
Proponents of the program argue that the campus diversity that results from it are well worth the controversy.
Student Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas in 2012 for being denied admission to the school, alleging that the school’s affirmative action program put her at an unfair disadvantage.
Yet, in their argument, the Supreme Court argued the policy was constitutional.
“The race-conscious admissions program in use at the time of petitioner’s application is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause,” the opinion reads.
Yesterday former Clinton IT employee Brian Pagliano, who set up Hillary Clinton's private, unsecured server inside her home in Chappaqua, New York, was deposed by Senior Judicial Watch attorney Ramona Cotca. As we now know, Clinton stored at least 2000 pieces of classified information on that server.
During the deposition, Pagliano didn't answer a single question and invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 125 times. Judicial Watch has been doing it's own investigation of server and has filed a number of lawsuits surrounding the issue.
"We were prepared he would be invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege however not to quite to every single question that we asked," Cotca told Fox News Thursday. "He either invoked the Fifth Amendment or his attorney instructed him not to answer because the questions he deemed out of scope. We obviously disagree with that. I don't believe all of the questions dealt with or gave rise to fear of prosecution however that is what happened. Either the privilege was invoked or he refused to answer questions based on what his attorney advised."
Cotca continued by saying Judicial Watch is looking for the truth about the server, specifically why it was set up in the first place. Further, they are looking into how the State Department played a role in allowing Clinton to maintain the server after seeing emails sent back and forth to officials regarding government business.
Naturally, the RNC is all over Pagliano's non-compliance.
“The fact Hillary Clinton’s former IT staffer pleaded the Fifth an astounding 125 times is another reminder of how much she has to hide and how serious the FBI’s criminal investigation really is. It’s important to remember that this wasn’t just any staffer; this was a longtime aide who obtained an unusual political appointment and was paid on the side for the sole purpose of maintaining Clinton’s illicit off-the-books server," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus released in a statement. “This unprecedented arrangement was an obvious attempt to skirt government transparency laws in order to conceal her shady dealings as Secretary of State, and it ultimately led to the exposure of classified information on more than 2,000 occasions and put our national security at risk. Clinton’s extraordinarily reckless conduct and dishonest attempts to avoid accountability do not fit the profile of someone worthy of the highest office in the land. Clinton’s actions in this case alone are disqualifying and her aide’s stonewalling today is just a prelude to the kind of White House she would run.”
Judicial Watch will be questioning top Clinton aide Huma Abedin and State Department Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy next week. According to attorneys, neither are expected to plead the Fifth.
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