- Conservative and libertarian groups like Heritage Action, Americans for Prosperity, and FreedomWorks came out against the ObamaCare Lite bill released yesterday by House Republicans. They were joined by Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Thomas Massie. Mike Pence told Congressional Republicans that a vote against the bill is a vote for ObamaCare, illustrating how the past decade of two party rule has given us lots of crap choices.
P.H. Guthrie believes Donald Trump declared war on the Obama administration:
President Trump labeled ex-President Obama a “bad or sick guy” in a tweet on Saturday, accusing Obama of tapping his phones during the presidential campaign. Through a spokesman, Obama denied any direct involvement in ordering surveillance on Trump, his associates, or his campaign.
By denouncing Obama in such an explosive and public manner, Trump has escalated the controversy over alleged Russian interference in the campaign into a political war between the current and former presidents. The move is Trump’s boldest play yet, the equivalent of poker’s all-in re-raise against Democrat allegations of Russian collusion. While almost all of official Washington is shocked by Trump’s gamble, there is strong reason to believe he holds the winning hand.
- A group of academics re-staged part of the presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but swapped the genders of the two candidates. They expected the male version of Hillary Clinton to win, but they were wrong. At least some people in the audience were bewildered by the outcome.
American troops are stationed in Manbij, Syria to act as peacekeepers between the Kurdish YPG, Turkish troops, and rebels backed by Turkey. A Pentagon spokesman said, “This is obviously a really complicated situation.” It would be a much clearer situation if the U.S. had a realistic policy toward Turkey.
Peter W. Wood wrote an interesting analysis of how Middlebury College enabled the protesters who attacked Charles Murray:
The Middlebury fracas would have been plenty bad enough if it ended there. But what made headlines came later. When Murray was being escorted to his car, the group he was with was assaulted by students, and Professor Allison Stanger was injured after someone pulled her hair and twisted her neck. She had to go to an emergency room and was fitted with a neck brace.
But there are deeper layers of irony here. If you examine the video carefully, Stanger makes several appearances before she goes on stage. At one point (29:08), Stanger is to be found grinning at the chant, “Hey hey, ho, ho, Charles Murray has got to go.” At another (30:05) Stanger is broadly smiling as the crowd chants, “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Charles Murray go away.” Still later, as the crowd chants, “Black Lives Matter,” Stanger raises her hands above her head (33:20) and claps along. Soon after, the camera pans across her again (33:34) and she is chanting the slogan as well as clapping.
- The events at Middlebury College resemble what happened on Indian college campuses in the 1990s:
The outbreaks of violence in India during mid–90s, represented the last days of dying socialist control at Indian universities. The ideas of the free market had become unstoppable, and a violent resistance to these ideas was instigated and inflamed by a handful of professors with an ultra-left background. Correlation is of course not causation, but correlation leads to recognizable patterns. There is a method in this campus madness in the West as well.
Most of this campus violence and intolerance wouldn’t occur, for example, without the vocal and tacit support of a sub-section of faculty within today’s academic community. This is therefore much more cynical than a random, spontaneous outburst of student activism which accidentally turns violent. This section of academia, the majority of them postmodernists and ultra-leftists, explicitly endorse the suppression of their ideological opponents as well as free speech and debate. And they explicitly promote an ideological movement which involved hijacking Western academia and using students as their personal army.
The largest manufacturer of credit card terminals used in the U.S., Verifone, is investigating a breech of its internal computer networks.
Chinese telecom company ZTE pleaded guilty to illegally selling electronic equipment and software to Iran and North Korea. ZTE will pay a $892 million fine.
The first pieces of the THAAD anti-missile defense system started appearing in South Korea, prompting whining by China.
A group called the Anti-Corruption Foundation published a report and a movie on Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, claiming he, like Vladimir Putin, has become extraordinarily wealthy while holding public office. The person behind the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Alexey Navalny, is well connected at the Kremlin, indicating there’s a faction that wants Medvedev gone.