“Missing” IRS Emails

Investigators said Thursday they have recovered 32,000 emails in backup tapes related to the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative organizations.

But they don’t know how many of them are new, and told a congressional oversight committee that IRS employees had not asked computer technicians for the tapes, as directed by a subpoena from House oversight and other investigating committees.

That admission was in direct contradiction to earlier testimony of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Of particular interest, other than Koskinen’s apparent lie, is that

The emails were to and from Lois Lerner, who used to head the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status.

On Terrorist Wannabes

Would-be ISIS terrorists are taking more roundabout routes to Syria in an effort to make European authorities’ attempts to catch them more difficult.

And

At least 3,400 European fighters are believed to have joined the ISIS army….

European authorities are concerned about that, looking for ways to stop the wannabes’ outbound travel. The authorities have this backward. They should let these folks go; Europe is better off without them. The authorities should, instead, focus their efforts on not letting the survivors back in.

A Journalistic View of the Importance of Truth

This is what too many journalists are saying about NBC’s Brian Williams’ lie about being on a helicopter in Iraq that was forced to land after being hit by an RPG. They’re making these statements, too, while eliding Williams’ subsequently discovered lies concerning his…reporting…in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and in Israel, before that, during Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah. First up is Howard Kurtz, author of the piece from which the rest of the quotes below are taken:

What’s been striking to me is how many people are willing to end what has been a pretty solid career because of this one admittedly horrible mistake.

News Media

First, there was Dan Rather and his nakedly falsified National Guard document, which he used on his 60 Minutes show to attempt to smear President George Bush the Younger.

Then there’s the constant smear campaign against folks like Governor Sarah Palin and the Tea Party as racists.

There’s the blatantly biased coverage of the Ferguson shooting.

Now there’s Brian Williams.

Brian Williams, the nation’s top-rated news anchor, has admitted fabricating a tale of being forced down by enemy fire in a helicopter over Iraq a dozen years ago.

The DoJ Strikes Again

This case involves a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ex-agent who sued the BATF over its slander of him and its lack of adequate protection of him and his family after he’d done undercover work for the BATF in the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang.

United States Court of Federal Claims Judge Francis M. Allegra opened his latest ruling in blunt terms:

On October 29, 2014, the court…issued an order voiding the prior judgment based upon indications that defendant [the United States; the BATF agent was the plaintiff], through its counsel, had committed fraud on the court.

Driving Death Rate

It fell sharply in 2012, the latest year for which data were studied by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Assuming Fox News accurately summarized the study, I have a couple questions.

Improved vehicle designs and safety technology have a lot to do with the reduced risk, but a weak economy that led to reductions in driving may also have played a role….

On the Confirmation of Loretta Lynch

…for Attorney General to replace Eric Holder.

During confirmation hearings which started yesterday [emphasis added],

Her biggest challenge could be explaining her support and participation in civil forfeitures, a legal process in which law enforcement agencies can seize money and other assets without charging or convicting the owners….

And so

After nearly three years of legal battles, the federal government last week dropped its case against the Hirschs, who own a distribution company that serves convenience stores on Long Island. The government agreed to return more than $446,000 in assets and cash seized by the Internal Revenue Service in 2012 under federal civil asset forfeiture laws, even though the Hirsch family was never charged with a crime.

Because We’re Not Being Spied on Enough

The Justice Department has acknowledged constructing a database to track the movements of millions of vehicles across the U.S. in real time.

And

A Justice Department spokesman told Fox News that the tracking program is compliant with federal [law]… claiming it “includes protocols that limit who can access the database and all of the license plate information is deleted after 90 days.”

Privacy Misbehavior

Andrea Peterson of The Washington Post has a warning.

Recall that ‘way last November, Verizon was exposed as using a supercookie that they’d developed for the purpose: it sits on your cell phone and tracks, ostensibly for their own use, your cell usage (supposedly limited to your use on the Internet). And you can’t delete it.

It turns out that Turn, an online advertising company that works with Google and Facebook,

uses [the Verizon supercookie] to collect data that makes it easier for advertisers to place targeted online ads, according to the researchers.

Gun Control

Here’s some, via The Daily Caller.

A Tulsa convenience store clerk took on four masked men during an attempted robbery earlier this week, shooting and killing two and helping bring an end to a serial robbery ring.

I wonder how that would have worked out had the clerk not been armed.