Links for 11-22-2015

  • Democrat John Bel Edwards won the election for Louisiana governor by 56% to 44% over Republican David Vitter. Interestingly, the Republican who won the lieutenant governor race received 628,835 votes, while Vitter only received 505,564. Perhaps that’s why Vitter announced that he won’t run for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016.

  • John Conyers (D-MI) is running for a 27th term in the House of Representatives.

  • President Obama held a press conference in Malaysia and said Republican candidates for president and Republican members of Congress who are criticizing his Syrian refugee policy and his handling of ISIS are doing what the terrorists want them to do.

  • The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Defense is ramping up its inquiry into whether higher-ups at U.S. Central Command cooked intelligence reports from their analysts to minimize the threat posed by ISIS and avoid questions of how well the American military prepared the Iraqi military to deal with threats like ISIS. The inspector general collected a trove of emails and documents, but there are stories from within the Pentagon that a great deal of deleting has been going on recently.

  • Kevin Williamson writes that “Rotten Elites Give a Bad Name to Elitism”:

    If today conservatives (or at least a faction of us) have become the partisans of a classless society, it may be because our elite institutions show so little class. Donald Trump is a terrific vulgarian, but at least he’s gilding the toilet fixtures on his own dime. The idiot children at Yale and Princeton — who are simply a variation on the Trumpkin outrage theater, suffering a different species of diaper rash — are being bought off by the cowardly administrators on those campuses with tens of millions of dollars of other people’s money.

    While taking a properly libertarian notice of the fact that these are private institutions and that what goes on between Princeton and its donors isn’t an inherently political question (I favor the legalization of prostitution), this is a bad sign for those of us who do desire the endurance of some kind of social order and the social hierarchy that order implies. If Princeton were run by people who actually believed that Princeton is an institution that deserves its place near the top of the heap, the administration wouldn’t have knuckled under to these half-pint hooligans — it would have had them arrested and expelled. A slot at Princeton is a valuable thing in a way that a slot at, say, the University of Missouri isn’t. But the closer you get to Princeton, the less credible that value proposition must seem — once you’re in the president’s office, the notion apparently evaporates entirely. This brings to mind Ezra Pound’s argument that there would have been less chaos in the Catholic Church of his time if the cardinals actually believed their own dogma.

  • 325,000 of the diesel engined Volkswagen cars that need to be recalled because they don’t comply with emissions regulations may need hardware modifications, not just an engine software tweak. The hardware modification is the addition of urea injection to the exhaust system, which won’t be cheap for Volkswagen to implement.

  • During the Paris attacks a police commissioner charged into the Bataclan music venue and shot one of the three terrorists. He retreated and the French equivalent of a police SWAT team assembled and took out the other two.

  • An Iranian court sentenced Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to prison, but won’t say for how long. Rezaian was accused of espionage.

  • Iraq grounded commercial flights between Baghdad and cities in northern Iraq for two days because Russia will be launching cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea. Those missiles will cross Iraqi airspace on their way to Syria.

  • Someone took a shot at the car in which the head of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP party, Selahattin Demirtas, was traveling. The car was armored and Demirtas was unhurt.

  • It took two attempts, but someone blew up two transmission towers that supply Crimea with electricity from Ukraine, shutting off the lights in the entire peninsula.