Links for 4-5-2015

  • Kevin Williamson writes about the changing perception of what constitutes a scandal and what’s legal/permissible in the political sphere:

    Richard Nixon was a snake who understood himself as such but had sufficient vestigial conscience to be ashamed of his snakery. When Tricky Dick wanted to spread a nasty rumor about a political rival, he insisted on a few degrees of separation between the deed and himself; when Harry Reid wants to spread lies about someone, he does so from the Senate floor and then laughs about it. In Nixon’s time, the political misuse of the IRS was considered a serious crime; today, it happens quite in the open without consequence. When Nixon insisted that his attorney general violate his official responsibilities for political reasons, Elliott Richardson understood what duty required, and resigned; Eric Holder, by way of comparison — suffice it to say that he understands his duty somewhat differently.

  • The Department of Defense’s Sea-Based X-Band Radar is a $2.2 billion bust.

  • For the first time since the 1980s, there was dissent at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ semi-annual General Conference. It was only five people out of about 22,000, but for the LDS Church church that’s scandalous.

  • Most of ISIS’ leaders are former Baathist Iraqi army officers. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made a point of recruiting these people because they were unemployed after the de-Baathification of the Iraqi military. Even the leaders operating in Syria are Iraqi.

  • Iran is ramping up funding for Hamas, paying to rebuild the tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip to Egypt and buying more missiles to replace those fired into Israel. Israel reportedly bombed warehouses in southern Libya containing some of those missiles bound for Hamas. Egypt allowed the Israeli aircraft to fly through its airspace.