School Shootings and Gun Control

At a Parkland high school, a thug went in and killed 17 while injuring several more; he was captured elsewhere and after several hours.  At a Maryland school, a thug went in, wounded two, and was killed.

There are some critical differences in the two situations.

The Parkland thug had a semi-automatic rifle, while the Maryland thug had a hand gun.

The Parkland thug obtained his rifle legally, if with some trouble (one potential seller refused the sale, having developed his own suspicions while interacting with the thug).  The Maryland thug obtained his pistol illegally.

The Old Ball and Chain

Hillary Clinton made a speech in India in which she said some things that apparently she was too timid to say here in the US of A.  One thing she said was about white women:

…we don’t do well with married, white women. And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party, and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.

A Telling Remark

It also emphasizes the magnitude of the Republican failure with the party’s choice for Senate candidate in last December’s Alabama special election.

In a Wall Street Journal piece centered on the intra-party fighting the Senate Progressive-Democrats are having over a banking bill that would release smaller banks from Dodd-Frank’s onerous requirements, Senator Doug Jones (D, AL), who won that special election, let slip this in response to criticism from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) over his support for that banking bill:

I don’t really worry about things like that. I do what I think is best for me[.]

Federal Student Loans and State Regulators

The Trump administration has told States to stop regulating companies that service Federal student loans; that’s the Federal government’s job.  The States have demurred.

The whole thing could—and should—be made moot by the Federal government getting out of the student loan business altogether.  The Feds have no business here; it’s a private enterprise arena, and the States should be free to regulate, or not, to their hearts’ contents on intrastate student lending.  The Feds’ only role here should be to regulate Commerce…among the several States and not to compete in that commerce.

Another Leak

The Wall Street Journal reported another leak concerning Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s pseudo-investigation of all things related to supposed collusion by President Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russia [emphasis added].

A meeting in the Seychelles weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration between a Russian executive and a top Republican donor close to the Trump transition team has drawn the scrutiny of special counsel Robert Mueller, who has heard testimony that appears to conflict with an account of the same meeting given earlier to House investigators, according to people familiar with the matter.


Or So He Says

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian claims his company’s decision to cut ties with the National Rifle Association to the extent it will no longer offer discounts for NRA members was apolitical.

While Delta’s intent was to remain neutral, some elected officials in Georgia tied our decision to a pending jet fuel tax exemption, threatening to eliminate it unless we reversed course. Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale[.]

Of course.

Bastian maintains that in cutting its affiliation with the pro-gun rights group, Delta tried to remove itself from the gun control debate.

The Progressive-Democrats’ Memo

Recall that the House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence majority party, the Republicans, released a four-page memo, unclassified (the DoJ and the FBI didn’t want the thing released, but White House security personnel vetted it), that outlined the Republicans’ view of the handling by the FBI, DoJ, and the FISA court of the Steele Dossier and the FISA warrant obtained for spying by the American government on an American.  Recall further the hoo-raw the Progressive-Democrats raised over the release and their demand to release their own.

Quid Pro Quo?

Recall that the Veterans Administration’s Inspector General had written a damning report of its investigation into the fraudulent behavior of the VA Secretary and of the Secretary’s Chief of Staff.  The IG even had referred the matter to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.  DoJ then declined to prosecute.

Now that chief of staff, Vivieca Wright Simpson, has announced her retirement, and the VA has opened its own investigation into her actions, an investigation that might lead to civil action, but it’s not a criminal investigation.  I have to ask, then: was this a quid pro quo?  Did DoJ agree not to prosecute if Simpson agreed to leave?

The Veterans Administration Is Not Getting Better

VA Secretary David Shulkin, according to an IG report, has been misappropriating VA funds for his and his family’s personal benefit, and he’s been abusing his authority to require a subordinate to act as his “personal travel concierge.”  He

improperly accepted a gift of Wimbledon tennis tickets….

And his Chief of Staff, Vivieca Wright Simpson, apparently tampered with evidence:

made false claims to a VA ethics official by altering an email to get official approval for Dr Shulkin’s wife to take part in the trip as an “invitational traveler,” a status that meant the VA would cover her expenses. Her airfare cost taxpayers $4,312.

A Sandbag Attempt

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D, CA), in response to the Committee’s Republican members’ four-page memo—the Nunes Memo—regarding the FBI’s abuse of FISA court-approved surveillance of Americans, produced a ten-page Progressive-Democrat member response, which the committee voted unanimously to release to the House with an eye to getting the memo released to the public via the White House’s security vetting.  The House approved the release and sent it to President Donald Trump, who had five days to disapprove the document, or it would be released.