Links for 7-7-2018

  • One American soldier was killed and two others were wounded during a green-on-blue attack in southern Afghanistan.
  • The political left may have chased Scott Pruitt out as EPA administrator, but they’re going to hate his (at least temporary) replacement, Andrew Wheeler, even more.
  • Andrew McCarthy writes that Democrats who say they’ll defend Roe v. Wade during the upcoming battle to confirm a Supreme Court justice are focused on the wrong court ruling — Planned Parenthood v. Casey has been the guiding case on abortion for the past 25 years:

    Here is reality: Casey’s refinement of the right judicially manufactured in Roe granted expansive and expanding room to regulate abortion. The validity of those regulations, not the core holding of Roe, is what dominates abortion litigation nowadays. It is unlikely that cases will present a need to grapple with Roe, it is even less likely that Roe will be overturned, and even if this highly unlikely event were to come to pass, it would not render abortion illegal. Instead, abortion would once again be a question for the states, the vast majority of which would guarantee some degree of access to abortion. We are not going to move into a post-Roe era, but even if we did, no woman who could obtain an abortion today would be unable to get one post-Roe.

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo concluded two days of talks with North Korean officials, who dissed the outcome after Pompeo left.

    The public complaint might be a real warning that Kim is about to break off contact, but it’s more likely just a test of the resolve of Pompeo and Donald Trump. North Korea knows how to manipulate negotiations, having very successfully done so in the past to win substantial concessions in return for empty promises. We knew this process would involve those attempts too; Pyongyang tried this before the summit and almost wound up with no meeting at all. They’re probing for weakness in the US negotiating team, and between the US and its allies. If we didn’t see a little of this, we might be better off worrying about whether we were giving the store away in negotiations.

  • Two American guided missile destroyers sailed through the Taiwan Strait.
  • Forty-nine people were killed and 48 are missing after heavy rains hit western and central Japan.
  • Al Shabaab detonated two car bombs in Mogadishu and stormed a government building that houses Somalia’s security and interior ministries. At least five people were killed and 21 wounded.

Links for 6-4-2018

Links for 5-21-2018

Links for 5-9-2018

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is bringing three American prisoners home from North Korea. Donald Trump will reportedly meet Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

  • Ben Shapiro writes on the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal:

    In hearing all of these honeyed voices speak, one might think that Iran has been acting responsibly for the last three years, that it hasn’t been pursuing a campaign of horrific terrorism in Yemen and Syria, that it hasn’t been sponsoring the takeover of Lebanon by the terrorist group Hezbollah, that it hasn’t been funding the Palestinian terror group Hamas, that it hasn’t been developing long-range ballistic missiles while leading chants saying “Death to America.” One might think that Obama left the Middle East a bright a beautiful place, not a hellhole filled with human carnage bought with dollars spent by Iran but funneled through the United States.

    None of that is true, of course. Obama left the Middle East a smoking wreckage heap — a situation so grim that even Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan have been forced to ally with Israel to allay fears of an Iranian regional takeover. Obama and his staff lied repeatedly to the American people about the Iran deal — and they continue to lie. When Kerry says that the deal will “empower Iran’s hardliners,” he is repeating an outright fabrication: The hardliners are in charge of the government, and the deal strengthened them. When Power speaks as though Obama alleviated the possibility of Iran’s nuclear program, she’s lying, too: The deal explicitly paved the way for an Iranian nuclear program free and clear of consequences from the international order. When Obama speaks as though our Middle East allies were pleased by the deal, he’s lying: They all opposed it, and they’re all celebrating its end.

  • The Treasury Department is revoking the licenses it issued to Boeing and Airbus to sell passenger jets to Iran.

  • Iranian forces in southern Syria fired rockets at Israeli military bases. There were no Israeli casualties.

  • Houthi rebels (backed by Iran) fired another salvo of ballistic missiles at Riyadh from Yemen.

  • A former CIA case officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, was indicted on charges of spying for China:

    In August 2012, Lee and his family left Hong Kong to return to the United States to live in northern Virginia. While traveling back to the United States, Lee and his family had hotel stays in Hawaii and Virginia. During each of the hotel stays, FBI agents conducted court-authorized searches of Lee’s room and luggage, and found that Lee was in unauthorized possession of materials relating to the national defense. Specifically, agents found two books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to, true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations and locations of covert facilities. Agents also found a thumb drive on which was stored a document later determined to contain information classified at the Secret level. During voluntary interviews with the FBI, Lee admitted preparing the document in response to taskings from the IO [intelligence officer].

  • ZTE ceased “major operating activities” after the Trump administration banned the Chinese company from using parts sourced from the U.S.

  • Conservative Senators are trying to pressure Mitch McConnell to get moving on Donald Trump’s nominees and on budget and appropriations bills. Delaying the latter benefits the D.C. swamp, since it encourages wasteful omnibus spending bills passed at the last minute to avoid a federal government shutdown.

  • Lt. j.g. Sarah Coppock pleaded guilty to “dereliction in the performance of duties through neglect contributing to the deaths” of seven sailors on board the USS Fitzgerald. Coppock was serving as Officer of the Deck when the Fitzgerald collided with a container ship.

Links for 4-26-2018

Links for 4-23-2018