Rand Paul takes another run at Choke Point

posted at 11:31 am on June 21, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Last month, Ed introduced us to Operation Choke Point, the program by which the Justice department is trying to shut down legal operations it just happens not to approve of on moral grounds. As Erika noted a bit later, one attempt at curbing this strong arm tactic already kicked off in the House.

Yesterday, a similar attempt got underway in the Senate, courtesy of Rand Paul. He was specifically attempting to prevent the Feds from using taxpayer funds to punish gun and ammo manufacturers.

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has filed an amendment aimed at protecting Second Amendment rights by preventing two federal agencies from pulling an “end-around” on gun and ammunition manufacturers and sellers.

Paul is seeking to amend the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for the 2015 budget to prevent any funds given to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or Department of Justice (DOJ) from targeting gun and ammunition companies.

In Paul’s amendment, filed Thursday evening, the FDIC will not be allowed “to classify the sale or manufacture of a firearm or ammunition as an activity involving risk.”

The amendment, the text of which was obtained by The Daily Caller, also bars the DOJ from discouraging “the provision or continuation of credit or the processing of payments by any financial institution to a manufacturer, dealer, or importer of firearms or ammunition, based on the fact that the business is a manufacturer, dealer or importer of firearms or ammunition.”

As Paul seems to be well aware, once you give the Executive branch a tool to use – ostensibly for a noble purpose – they are more than likely to turn around and employ it in an unpleasant manner other than the original intention. In this case, however, the noble purpose was pretty questionable to begin with. I completely agree that there are some financial services operators out there who are preying on the economically disadvantaged with some dodgy programs such as payday loans and title loans. But if these activities are truly harmful, then the states where they are taking place need to have their legislatures get on the stick and make them illegal. Such assumptions by the White House remove any aspect of both personal responsibility on the part of the consumer and the independent oversight of the states.

But beyond that, as Rand highlights, the same type of rules can be twisted to a new purpose and cut off investment capital to completely legitimate and necessary businesses based simply on the fact that the administration has a personal problem with what they are doing. Under the Obama administration, gun and ammunition manufacturers would be a natural target. And it can all be done without the House or the Senate ever having a say in it.


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Operation choke the Constitution needs to be challenged and ended in court, now.

Whitey Ford on June 21, 2014 at 11:39 AM

All activities involve risk. If that’s the only criterion then the government can do anything. Of course, it can pretty much do anything with impunity already, as long as the free stuff keeps coming.

Fenris on June 21, 2014 at 11:40 AM

It’s fine to file this amendment but what are the chances that Reid ever allows it to come to a vote?

I would guess about zero. And the Red state Dem senators will want to pile on to show what big supporters of the Second they are until the day after they win re-election.

Toocon on June 21, 2014 at 11:44 AM

What’s the quote about the worst government tyranny being that which is supposedly done for your own good?

Some people never learn history, all those supporters of fascism and communism and naziism who later found themselves standing in front of a sandbagged wall wearing a blindfold.

Bishop on June 21, 2014 at 11:55 AM

The end won’t be pretty.

southsideironworks on June 21, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I’m not particularly enamored with these payday loan guys myself, but they exist because there is a market for them. Poor people who have destroyed their credit through their poor choices can’t go to the bank or use a credit card to get the money they might need to get them through the week. And yes the interest rates are high, but that’s because they are making very risky loans.

I wonder what the government is going to do for the poor people that rely on this service once it’s gone.

SupplyGuy on June 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has filed an amendment aimed at protecting Second Amendment rights by preventing two federal agencies from pulling an “end-around” on gun and ammunition manufacturers and sellers

…and Harry Reid will use it…for toilet paper!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Hey, choking is a great idea!

The boneheads in favor of this action never think of the areas of commerce I would like to choke when I get the power. Abortion providers, Hollywood and left leaning academia come to mind in a flash.

When are going to have Americans running this country?

FOWG1 on June 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM

When are going to have Americans running this country?

FOWG1 on June 21, 2014 at 12:16 PM

…note what has been going on at the southern border for the last couple of decades…being accelerated now…with republican help…I don’t think anybody will be able to answer your question!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 21, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Could he call it Choke Holder?

(I know…)

PS Be glad Willie isn’t POTUS.

It would be Operation Choke The Chicken.

(had to…)

formwiz on June 21, 2014 at 12:38 PM

OT – where is this thread?

I triple dare you, HA.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Even though the reality is that this will probably not go
any where, it is always heartening to see some of our government officials trying to put a finger in the dyke.

Most of us know this, however, every minute of every day should remind
all of us how important these November 2014 elections are. If
conservatives are elected, it will give “cover” or “license”
to stop much of Obama’s unlawful, thug government. The rinos, in
particular, will jump on the bandwagon, trying to impress voters
that they were there all along. We know better, however, whatever
it takes for them to be convinced to vote the right way is okay by me (at least until we can vote them out of office).

Amjean on June 21, 2014 at 12:55 PM

OT – Mississippians will make history on Tuesday.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Hillary is right. What difference does ANY law make if it can be violated with impunity by the executive branch? The turd just dares the conservatives to take up arms, to crack the armored fist down, introduce martial law and cancel elections.

I say there is an easy countermeasure that will send a proper chill up the usurper’s spine. Someone should publish names and addresses of every member of Obama’s “civilian army”. Let them know that turning their weapons against American population may come with the heaviest possible toll. I am sure the libertarian wing, and even those in the OWS movement who were there “not just for the rape and twinkles”, will support this idea. Mind that publishing this information is *legal* because they are, on the record, not secret agents or even private citizens – they are our employees.

Rix on June 21, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Just another case of Republican impotence in the face of egregious corruption.

No Chop Charlie on June 21, 2014 at 1:09 PM

America

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Brett Favre is dead too me!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 21, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Just another case of Republican impotence in the face of egregious corruption.

No Chop Charlie on June 21, 2014 at 1:09 PM

I dunno. Right now it’s an institutionalized impotence, as long as we still have Hairy Reid the Pederast and Pres. Usurper holding any reins of power.

For now, the remaining legal means of fighting the egregious corruption you mention have not been fully exhausted. There are a few glimmers of hope that the ship may still have a small chance of turning. (See Schadenfreude’s link, for instance, and the recently deposed Eric Cantor.)

However, the 2014 elections better go the right way toward deposing the current ruling class, and stand completely unmolested by voter fraud black-ops, or be prevented by some false-flag op or other such fascist, corrupt action. “Civil unrest” would be a mild term to describe what could happen. We are just about there.

Harbingeing on June 21, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I wonder what the government is going to do for the poor people that rely on this service once it’s gone.

SupplyGuy on June 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Uhhh, they will take more of our money to buy more votes of the LIVs, like they do now.

8 weight on June 21, 2014 at 1:32 PM

OT – where is this thread?

I triple dare you, HA.

[Schadenfreude on June 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM]

Give ‘em another month and they’ll introduce us to it.

Dusty on June 21, 2014 at 1:33 PM

All activities involve risk. If that’s the only criterion then the government can do anything. Of course, it can pretty much do anything with impunity already, as long as the free stuff keeps coming.

Fenris on June 21, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Not true! Drinking clean water poses no risk whatsoever! Oh, wait.

Well, there’s no risk in sitting down to watch some soccer, right? Hmmm…

Well, yeah, but that’s because he didn’t sleep. If he had just snuggled safely into his bed…HOLY COW, seriously?!?!

Yep, that’s pretty much everything, then.

yaedon on June 21, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Just another case of Republican impotence in the face of egregious corruption.

[No Chop Charlie on June 21, 2014 at 1:09 PM]

I agree. I got the giggles reading about it. Barack Obama is shredding the lawful provisions left and right and what’s Rand Paul doing? He’s leading the GOP into battle with another lawful provision” preventing the government from doing something.

It’s like a parody of the adage, “when guns are outlaws only outlaws will have guns” except what’s understood about the guns adage is that there are criminal penalties associated to back that one up. With Paul’s provision, not so much, and because of that it’s nothing more than window dressing and laughable window dressing at that.

Dusty on June 21, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Brett Favre is dead too me!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 21, 2014 at 1:21 PM

He was already dead, now his dead-dead.

The stupid blacks, egged on by their preachers, will vote for dead Cochran.

I so love to laugh at Rove and all the amnesty/fascist Capitalist hacks. They are not for free enterprise, they are for crony capitalism. I hope they all go directly to Hades.

Tuesday night s/b fun.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2014 at 2:17 PM

What’s the quote about the worst government tyranny being that which is supposedly done for your own good?
Some people never learn history, all those supporters of fascism and communism and naziism who later found themselves standing in front of a sandbagged wall wearing a blindfold.
Bishop on June 21, 2014 at 11:55 AM

This CS Lewis gem?

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

anuts on June 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Can we go one day with out this guy.

KBird on June 21, 2014 at 3:20 PM

OT – where is this thread?

I triple dare you, HA.

[Schadenfreude on June 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM]

Give ‘em another month and they’ll introduce us to it.

Dusty on June 21, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Not until it’s been cleared by the mainstream press.

slickwillie2001 on June 21, 2014 at 7:48 PM