Links for 12-6-2017

Links for 12-1-2017

Links for 11-5-2017

  • Fox News is updating its story on the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas here.

  • BuzzFeed obtained a tranche of internal Breitbart emails illustrating how the Mercer family, Steve Bannon, Alex Marlow, Milo Yiannopoulos, and alt-right figures promote their narrative.

  • Kevin Williamson argues that what happened between the Democratic National Committee and Bernie Sanders is how political parties are supposed to work:

    As it turns out, political parties are — like churches, civic groups, unions, trade groups, lobbyists, pressure groups, and business associations — part of the secret sauce of civil society. In much the same way as our senators — in their original, unelected role — were expected to provide a sober brake on the passions of the members of the more democratic House of Representatives, political parties exercised a soft veto that helped to keep extremism and demagoguery in check. Anybody can run for president — but not just anybody can run as the candidate of the Republican party or the Democratic party. Third parties face an uphill battle, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot prevail: The Republican party was a very successful third party, displacing the moribund Whigs.

    The denuded political parties provide an important fund-raising and administrative apparatus — along with a tribal identity that is arguably more important — but they do not offer much more than that. Instead, we have relatively little in the way of mediating institutions between candidates and the public at large. If Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are your idea of great political leaders, then you probably don’t see a problem with that. You’re a fool, but you’re a fool who is likely to get his way in the coming years. The difference between a republic and a democracy is that republics put up more roadblocks between fools and their desires.

    The project to make the Democratic party an instrument of the Clinton campaign in order to prevent Bernie Sanders from making it an instrument of his own ambitions was dishonest, corrupt, and possibly illegal.

    It was also exactly what political parties are supposed to do. A little democracy, like a little whiskey, is a good thing — too much and you end up with Ted Kennedy.

  • Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort received federal permission to hire 70 people under H–2B visas for the 2017–2018 tourist season.

  • Saudi Arabia’s King Salmon and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman conducted a purge, ordering the arrest of 11 princes, four ministers, and dozens of former ministers and businessmen. The arrests were ordered as King Salmon created an anti-corruption committee chaired by the crown prince. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was among those arrested — he’s a billionaire investor in companies like Citigroup and Twitter.

  • Saudi Prince Mansour bin Muqrin was killed in a helicopter crash near the border with Yemen.

  • The former leader of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, turned himself in to Belgian police; four associates of Puigdemont also turned themselves in. Spain has issued arrest warrants for all five. Spain’s central government scheduled elections in Catalonia next month, and two polls suggest pro-independence parties could win a majority of seats.

  • A Venezuelan opposition leader, Freddy Guevara, sought refuge in the Chilean ambassador’s residence in Caracas out of fear that he was about to be arrested.

Links for 11-1-2017

  • The suspect in the New York City terrorist attack, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, is from Uzbekistan, and he came to the U.S. via the “Diversity Visa Program.” The Department of Homeland Security questioned Saipov in 2015, but didn’t formally investigate him. And there’s this: “Saipov’s social media activity showed that he actively sought and engaged with radical Islamic propaganda and sympathized with ISIS.” Saipov used America’s chain migration policy to bring another 23 people into the country.

  • Mark Steyn wrote a tremendous column on the New York City terrorist attack that ends with this:

    So now eight grieving families and dozens more who’ll be living with horrific injuries for the rest of their lives are told by Cuomo and De Blasio and the rest of the gutless political class behind their security details that there’s nothing to do except to get used to it.

    I don’t want to get used to it – and I reiterate my minimum demand of western politicians that I last made after the London Bridge attacks: How many more corpses need to pile up on our streets before you guys decide to stop importing more of it?

    If your congressman or senator says that’s not on his agenda, what he means is he’s willing to sacrifice you and your loved ones in the suicide lottery of diversity.

  • A U.S. Navy report detailed a long list of mistakes made by the crews of the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain prior to their collisions with other ships. This part is interesting:

    In the early morning hours of June 17, the Fitzgerald was traveling at a speed of 20 knots about 50 miles south of Tokyo Bay when it began to sail past commercial vessels. Contrary to his standing order, [Cmdr. Bryce] Benson was not notified on multiple occasions when the Fitzgerald came within three nautical miles of several of those ships.

    At one point the Fitzgerald crossed the bow of one of those ships at a distance of 650 yards.

  • The CIA released some of the material they obtained when U.S. Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan:

    The Abbottabad repository confirms that bin Laden was anything but retired when US forces knocked down his door. He was not a mere figurehead. During the final months of his life, Osama bin Laden was communicating with subordinates around the globe. Recovered memos discuss the various committees and lieutenants who helped bin Laden manage his sprawling empire of terror.

    In fact, al Qaeda’s network was a great deal more cohesive than was widely suspected in May 2011. Groups such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Shabaab (in Somalia) regularly sought and received the al Qaeda master’s direction. Other organizations, such as the Pakistani Taliban, are featured throughout the documents as well. And al Qaeda continued to maintain a significant footprint inside Afghanistan, relocating personnel to the country in 2010 and fighting alongside the Taliban.

  • A group of lawmakers accused the Trump administration of illegally arming and funding the Iranian-backed militias that are fighting alongside the Iraqi army. There are photos circulating of militia members driving American M1A1 tanks.

  • U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Schultz died in a crash at a Nevada testing range back in September. The Air Force refused to specify what plane he was flying, which led to speculation that he was testing something new. It now appears he was flying a Russian Su–27 as part of an aggressor squadron that helps American pilots train against foreign aircraft. The Air Force is now considering whether to contract out these aggressor planes and their pilots to a private company; the contract could be worth billions of dollars.

  • The Salt Lake City nurse who was arrested for refusing to draw blood from an unconscious patient settled her lawsuit against the city for $500,000.

  • A Chechen woman who fought for Ukraine in its battle with Russia, Amina Okueva, was assassinated in an ambush on the outskirts of Kyiv. Okueva’s husband was injured in the attack. Back in June there was another assassination attempt against the two of them, that time by a Russian citizen posing as a journalist for Le Monde who came to interview them.

  • U.K. Defense Minister Michael Fallon resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment.

  • The Iraqi government threatened to restart military operations against the Kurds.

Links for 10-8-2017

  • Last week a Turkish employee at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul was arrested on charges of being connected to Fethullah Gulen. That prompted the U.S. to stop issuing visas to Turkish citizens, and the Turkish government responded in kind for American citizens.

  • The Turkish military sent scouts into Syria’s Idlib province and later shelled the area.

  • The Trump administration sent Congress a 70-point immigration enforcement plan:

    But the plans break serious new ground on the legal front, giving federal agents more leeway to deny illegal immigrants at the border, to arrest and hold them when they’re spotted in the interior, and to deport them more speedily. The goal, the White House said, is to ensure major changes to border security, interior enforcement and the legal immigration system.

    Later:

    All told, the list includes 27 different suggestions on border security, 39 improvements to interior enforcement and four major changes to the legal immigration system.

  • Kevin Williamson explains the nature and origin of the Second Amendment:

    Put another way: The right to keep and bear arms would still be there without the Second Amendment. Like the right not to suffer political or religious repression, it exists with or without the law. It is an aspect of the human being, not an aspect of the governments that human beings institute among themselves. The state does not grant the right — the state exists because the right exists and needs protecting from time to time. The state protects our rights from criminals and marauders, and the Constitution protects our rights from their protectors.

    No doubt that sounds like a lot of crazy talk to many of our progressive friends. “Rights from God! Imagine!” That is a critical failure of our most progressive institution, the schools, which consistently neglect — or decline — to provide our students with even a rudimentary education in American civics and the history of the American idea. It isn’t that the modern left-winger is obliged to accept the intellectual and philosophical basis of the American order, but he ought to understand that things are the way they are for a reason. The idea that the Second Amendment could simply be repealed —that’s that! — isn’t only an attack on the right to keep and bear arms: It is an attack on the American constitutional order per se. That our progressive friends often are so pristinely ignorant of the moral order underpinning the American founding is one of their great intellectual failures. They do not understand the American idea, and, as a result, they do not really understand their own ideas, either.

  • The New York Times published an exposé on Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment, which the political left is conveniently ignoring, including our newly self-appointed arbiters of right and wrong, the progressive late night TV comedians. Even Saturday Night Live avoided commenting on Weinstein. Today the board of directors of The Weinstein Company fired Harvey Weinstein, effective immediately.

Links for 10-6-2017

Links for 9-28-2017