Links for 3-17-2018

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Andrew McCabe about a day before he was scheduled to retire. The reason given for McCabe’s firing was this: “McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor [FBI-speak for lying] − including under oath − on multiple occasions.” McCabe kept notes documenting his “interactions” with Donald Trump and turned them over to Robert Mueller. Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI) offered to hire McCabe so he could collect his government pension.

  • Sarah Hoyt writes that the Russian government doesn’t understand Americans well enough to hack our elections:

    Sure, the Soviets had an amazing propaganda machine. By dividing the rest of the world into victims and oppressors, they managed to inject their poison into otherwise functional societies, even in the U.S., making academia and the arts and several other societal structures pits of oikophobic vipers.

    But that type of subversion which relies on Marxism being a sort of intellectually self-sufficient system that appeals to those who consider themselves smart (but might not be); on an heretical twist of Christianity which makes charity a governmental function; and on the perfect being the enemy of the good (a human failing) is markedly different from what the Russians are accused of doing in this election.

    What they’re accused of doing – and probably tried to do, though not necessarily in Trump’s favor – is changing the result of the election by, so to put it, changing the national mind.

    To do that, Russians would need to have an exquisite understanding of the U.S., to the point that their spending — which was about a tenth of what the Democrats spent to fail to elect Hillary — would be enough to turn the election.

    This can only be said irrisorily. [That means “derisively,” but I’m damned if I’m going to change it, it’s too good a word. — Ed.]

    Of all the societies that the Russians can’t fully understand, ours is probably the one they understand the least.

  • The U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Colorado, the fifteenth Virginia-class attack submarine.

  • Russia expelled 23 British diplomats and ordered the U.K. to shut down its consulate in St. Petersburg.

  • China’s parliament re-elected Xi Jingping as president, and elected Xi’s “graft buster” ally Wang Qishan as vice-president; Wang replaces Li Yuanchao.

  • The YPG claims Turkey’s military bombed the main hospital in Afrin, Syria, a charge the Turkish government denies.