Links for 4-17-2018

  • The Department of Justice Inspector General report on former FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe details how the Obama administration worked to shut down the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation:

    The report, authored by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz, an Obama appointee, chronicles the Justice Department’s effort to shut down the FBI’s investigation Aug. 12, 2016. The pressure allegedly came in the form of a phone call to McCabe from a Justice Department principal associate deputy attorney general (PADAG) who pressed McCabe on the continuing investigation. The IG did not identify which PADAG made the call.

    Later:

    The August phone call between McCabe and the senior Justice Department official was acrimonious, the IG reported. “McCabe acknowledged that the PADAG call was a very memorable event in McCabe’s career. It involved a dramatic confrontation between McCabe and the principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, one of the highest ranking officials in the Department. McCabe told the OIG that, despite his long career in the FBI, he had never had a conversation ‘like this one’ with a high level Department of Justice official before or since August 12, 2016,” the IG wrote.

  • The Department of Justice Inspector General report on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server will be released next month.

  • Neil Gorsuch sided with the U.S. Supreme Court’s liberals in a case involving the deportation of a legal immigrant who committed multiple burglaries. Federal law says an immigrant who commits a “crime of violence” can be deported, and both the Obama and Trump administrations argued that an “ordinary case” of burglary can involve violence; a 5–4 majority of the Supreme Court disagreed.

  • Law students at the City University of New York tried to de-platform Josh Blackman. The subject of Blackman’s speech was the importance of the First Amendment on campus. The administrators at CUNY’s law school refused to punish the students.

  • Joy Pullmann uses text from a new Advanced Placement history textbook to demonstrate the stupidity of sending your children to indoctrination camps posing as schools:

    Many parents wouldn’t let their kids physically ingest even trace chemicals that haven’t been conclusively proven to hurt anyone, yet they send their kids to mental cafeterias that plentifully serve ideas proven to cause human misery and slavery. This is madness. For lawmakers from the Right to allow their political antagonists to maintain monopolies on instructing future voters, it’s suicidal.

    Citing statistics that 66% of millennials don’t know what Auschwitz was, Pullmann writes:

    Surveys and studies have been finding for decades now that the U.S. education system graduates students of this caliber. You don’t need studies to prove this. Just look at what passes for public discourse. Look at the decisions your fellow citizens keep making through our political process. Look at their capabilities of creating and sustaining healthy, happy families and communities. Do Americans seem generally well-informed, thoughtful, and constructively engaged? In other words, are we still as a people good at governing ourselves, at running our own lives?

    If you think not, then it’s time to confront the truth that this is happening in your state, your town, your schools, and to your kids. You might not be interested in politicized and dumbed-down curriculum, but it’s interested in your kids. Passivity enables its strengthening dominance.

  • Israel hinted that it may attack Iranian planes in Syria, including civilian planes transporting weapons.

Links for 4-10-2018

Links for 4-9-2018

Links for 4-5-2018

Links for 3-29-2018

  • Russia booted 60 American diplomats out of the country and ordered the closure of the consulate in St. Petersburg.

  • Another collection of text messages exchanged between FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page appeared, and these suggest coordination between Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Senator Harry Reid, and and CIA Director John Brennan during the early days of the investigation into collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians.

  • Stanley Kurtz wrote a short history of First Amendment problems at Clemson University:

    Clemson’s liberals and conservative are at daggers drawn, not so much debating national policy as struggling over the ability of one side to control the expression of the other. However Clemson chooses to address issues like historical memorials and faculty diversity hires, those decisions ought to be the outcome of open discussion and debate, not the punishment or suppression of speech.

    Far from undermining civility, free speech inculcates the practice of respectful self-restraint in the face of disagreement. Restoration of free speech at Clemson is the best hope for staunching the hair-trigger sensitivities and trolling now embittering its dueling political factions.

  • A survey of the people who participated in the “March for Our Lives” protest in Washington, D.C. indicates the attendees were not the people the media portrayed them to be — in particular, only about 10% were under 18 years old.

  • The Public Interest Legal Foundation sued the Office of the Harris County Voter Registrar for refusing to open its voter rolls to inspection. Harris County has admitted to problems with non-citizens registered to vote, but won’t allow its voter rolls to be inspected to see how big that problem is.

  • Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will stand trial on influence peddling charges:

    The case came about after investigators used phone-taps to examine separate allegations that late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi funded Sarkozy’s campaign. The investigators began to suspect the former president had kept tabs on a separate case through a network of informants.

    Later:

    Based on the intercepts, Sarkozy, who still had political influence at the time despite having left office, is accused of having discussed offering a promotion to a prosecutor in return for tip-offs on another campaign funding probe.

  • Nissan and Renault are reportedly discussing a merger, which would resolve the strange relationship the two companies already have — Renault owns a 43% interest in Nissan, Nissan owns a 15% interest in Renault, and the two companies share a chairman, Carlos Ghosn.

Links for 3-28-2018

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.