Links for 7-9-2018

Links for 9-26-2017

  • The U.S. plans to restrict Russian military overflights under the Treaty on Open Skies because Russia is not allowing the U.S. to conduct flights over Kaliningrad, Russia’s enclave on the Baltic Sea.

  • The White House does not believe the Cuban government is behind the “sonic weapon” attacks against American diplomats. They aren’t saying who is behind the attacks, but it’s hard to believe that in a society like Cuba’s, the government wouldn’t know about this sort of thing. Nonetheless, the State Department plans to withdraw most of its personnel from Cuba, leaving behind a skeleton staff.

  • Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) won’t run for re-election in 2018.

  • The Senate won’t vote on the Graham-Cassidy health insurance bill after several Republican Senators declared their opposition.

  • The Department of Commerce placed a 220% duty on Bombardier commercial jets after finding that the Canadian government is subsidizing Bombardier’s planes.

  • The Boston Globe published a two part series on problems at the Federal Aviation Administration. The first details how the FAA does a poor job vetting airplane registrations, making it easy for criminal organizations like drug cartels to register planes:

    More than 16 years after aircraft were used as weapons in the worst terrorist attack in US history, the FAA still operates more like a file clerk than a reliable tool for law enforcement, enabling secrecy in the skies here and abroad. The price to register a plane is still just $5 — the same as in 1964, even though the agency has the power to raise it — generating little revenue that could be used to expand oversight. And the FAA does so little vetting of the ownership and use of planes listed in its aircraft registry that two of the airliners hijacked and destroyed on 9/11 were still listed as “active” four years after. And that’s prompt compared to this: The FAA didn’t cancel the registration for one TWA cargo plane until 2016, 57 years after it crashed in Chicago, killing the crew and eight people on the ground.

    They do a similiarly bad job licensing pilots:

    Almost a decade after Haghighi’s brazen identify theft, the FAA still does not include pilot photos on its licenses, and the agency does not fully vet pilot information before issuing them credentials. Last year, a leading congressional overseer of the FAA, then-Representative John Mica, called US pilot licenses “a joke” and said that a day pass to Disney World in his native Florida contains more sophisticated security measures.

    Later:

    FAA procedures also make it easy for pilots to hide damaging information, by simply not reporting it. That’s because the agency relies on them to self-report felony convictions and other crimes that could lead to license revocation. Among the licensed pilots currently listed in the airman registry are Carlos Licona and Paul Grebenc, United Airlines pilots who were sentenced to jail in Scotland earlier this year for attempting to fly a commercial airliner with alcohol in their blood. Under FAA rules, an alcohol-related offense, especially related to flying, can be grounds for license revocation or suspension, though the FAA decides on a case by case basis.

  • Fred and Cindy Warmbier disclosed that when their son Otto was released by North Korea, he was deaf, blind, and howling incoherently:

    “Otto had a shaved head, he had a feeding tube coming out of his nose, he was staring blankly into space, jerking violently,” said Mr Warmbier.

    “He was blind. He was deaf. As we looked at him and tried to comfort him it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth.”

    In short, North Korea tortured Otto Warmbier.

  • A group of abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, sued Texas in federal district court over a new law banning live dismemberment abortions. The abortion clinics refused to comply with Texas’ discovery requests, so the judge ordered them to provide records about the second-trimester abortions they’ve performed:

    Of significance, the abortion providers must identify each individual who performs or has performed abortions on fetuses 14 weeks old or older, from 2001 to the present, detailing the procedure performed, whether digoxin or another fetal demise technique was used, and whether fetal demise occurred prior to dismemberment, as well as whether any complications occurred.

    Additionally, the federal court ordered the plaintiffs to provide all records of digoxin purchases, any informational material or consent forms related to digoxin, and communications between Planned Parenthood Federated of America and the Planned Parenthood plaintiffs regarding digoxin.

    This ties into the Center for Medical Progress undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood — they captured abortionists saying they don’t like to use digoxin because they can’t sell the baby body parts afterward. There’s also this:

    In its earlier court filings, Texas stressed that it would be illegal to kill an animal in the way the abortion providers kill a fetus in dismemberment abortions—pulling the unborn baby apart limb from limb until he bleeds to death.

  • Iraq’s central government gave Iraqi Kurdistan until Friday afternoon to relinquish control of its airports to avoid an embargo on international flights. This is part of the Baghdad government’s attempts to punish Kurdistan for holding an independence referendum yesterday. They’re still counting votes, but so far “yes” to independence is winning by over 90%.

  • One of the co-founders of Alternative for Germany, Frauke Petry, left the party the day after it won nearly 13% of the vote in parliamentary elections. Petry, who is one of the party’s moderates, won a seat in the Bundestag but will be an independent member. Her husband, Marcus Pretzell, is also leaving the party — he’s an AfD leader and a member of the European Parliament.

Links for 6-21-2017

Links for 10-8-2016

  • The New York Times had a story on Donald Trump’s disgusting, loutish behavior toward women queued up for Sunday, but they advanced its publication after yesterday’s article in The Washington Post.

  • I’m not a fan of Rick Wilson, but he’s entitled to an “I told you so” moment regarding Republicans who endorsed Donald Trump:

    Did you think your little cute rhetorical games will save you from blistering, vicious Democratic attacks and media coverage in 2018 or 2020? Did you think your wink-and-a-nod to your friends in the DC press will get you a pass from the future you helped create?

    Do you think anonymous leaks to Politico or the Washington Post or the New York Times about how disappointed you are and how strongly you expressed your reservations — behind closed doors, of course — about Trump will save you? Those are the old rules from the old Washington.

    They won’t. Your public posture was a bended knee and puckered lips to Trump and Trumpism, and that’s the frame of your public image in future races. You may think it’s unfair for them for them to say, “David Duke and Congressman X both endorsed and supported Donald Trump” but it’s irresistible — and, most unfortunately for you — effective.

    On Ted Cruz:

    Cruz is now in a no-man’s land; he’s locked himself into a room with people who loathe him and will gleefully destroy him at the first moment. He didn’t have a lot of friends in the old GOP to begin with, but now he’s a lonely, tragic figure. The look on his face while he phone-banked for Trump from the Texas GOP offices said it all. The GOP establishment will never accept him, the Trumplicans will never accept him as one of their own, and conservatives are left heartbroken and confused about how quickly and violently his star has fallen.

    The example of Ted Cruz should teach every endorser of Donald Trump a lesson: No matter what you do, no matter how abject your worship of Trump, nothing suffices when it comes to the new Republican party he’s created. The bastardized version of authoritarian statist “conservatism” led by Donald Trump, and the forces he’s unleashed are coming for you.

  • Republican candidates are fleeing the sinking ship, and Mike Pence says he’s offended by Trump’s remarks and can’t defend his running mate. Nearly every Utah Republican who endorsed Trump withdrew their endorsement, which helps Evan McMullin even if they don’t formally endorse him.

  • The Obama administration eased financial sanctions against Iran.

  • Yesterday the U.S. and Finland signed a bilateral defense cooperation pact:

    While Washington and Helsinki already closely cooperate through joint military drills on air, land and sea, the non-legally binding pact seeks to deepen the ties through information exchange, joint research and development in areas like cyberdefense and training among other things.

    The pact covers cooperation in ship building, nuclear defense and developing technologies for the Arctic – an area of increasing interest for both nations.

    Russian Su–27 fighters violated Finland’s airspace over the Gulf of Finland on Thursday. Twice.

  • Russia confirmed that it moved nuclear-capable short-range missiles into Kaliningrad.

  • A federal district court judge dismissed the Security and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

  • A high ranking general in Yemen’s military died fighting Houthi rebels east of the capital.

  • Austin Petersen (former Libertarian Party candidate for president) interviewed Evan McMullin (current independent candidate for president):

Links for 6-23-2016