Links for 7-30-2018

Links for 7-17-2018

  • Byron York explains why Donald Trump doesn’t like to admit Russian interference in the 2016 election:

    There have always been two parts to the Trump-Russia probe: the what-Russia-did part, which is the investigation into Russia’s actions during the campaign, and the get-Trump part, which is the effort to use the investigation to remove him from office.

    Trump’s problem is that he has always refused, or been unable, to separate the two. One is about national security and international relations, while the other is about Donald Trump.

    The president clearly believes if he gives an inch on the what-Russia-did part — if he concedes that Russia made an effort to disrupt the election — his adversaries, who want to discredit his election, undermine him, and force him from office, will take a mile on the get-Trump part. That’s consistent with how Trump approaches other problems; he doesn’t admit anything, because he knows his adversaries will never be satisfied and just demand more.

    Donald Trump now says he misspoke when he said he believed Vladimir Putin’s denial of Russian interference in the election over the conclusions of American intelligence agencies.

  • Paul Kengor notes that Democrats are now Russia hawks:

    It’s only a matter of time before Hillary Clinton heads to Wheeling waving a list of 205 Russian spies in the Trump State Department.

    Where’s old Tailgunner Joe Biden to charge Trump with “a conspiracy so immense”?

    This hypocrisy is outrageous. It’s outrageous that it took charges of Russian meddling against Hillary Clinton to finally make progressives give a damn about the dangerous deceit of the Kremlin.

  • New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland sued the federal government over the $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes included in the latest tax overhaul. These four states want the residents of other states to resume subsidizing their extremely high tax rates.

  • The Daily Caller identified the founder of Sleeping Giants, a left-wing activist group that works to shut down right-wing outlets via boycott campaigns: Matt Rivitz, an ad copywriter based in San Francisco.

  • Federal prosecutors charged another Honduran congressman with drug trafficking. The congressman, Midence Oqueli Martinez Turcioss, is not in custody.

  • Iran filed a lawsuit against the U.S. in the International Court of Justice, claiming the latest American sanctions violate a 1955 treaty.

  • John O’Sullivan wrote a good summary of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s “soft Brexit” plan and its aftermath:

    The commitments had been to an entirely new Brexit strategy that seemed to erase all of May’s famous red lines against what she would not accept in talks with Brussels. It was the kind of thing that gives shyster lawyers a bad name: Britain would leave the EU Customs Union but then join a common customs territory with the EU; leave the single market but accept “ongoing harmonization” with EU regulations; leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice but then instruct U.K. courts to follow ECJ precedents. May insisted that these proposals were the fulfillment of her public pledges. That was too much for anyone who believes that 2+2=4. David Davis resigned on Sunday evening; his junior minister, Steve Baker, did so the next morning; Boris followed that afternoon; and the resignations — of junior ministers, parliamentary political secretaries (the first step on the political ladder), party officials, constituency chairmen, and ordinary activists — have been flowing ever since.

  • Nicaraguan security forces moved against an opposition stronghold in Masaya. At least 275 people have been killed since protests started in April.

  • Afghan commandos raided a Taliban prison in Helmand province and freed 58 prisoners.

Links for 7-10-2018

Links for 7-5-2018

Links for 6-20-2018

Links for 6-17-2018

  • Selena Zito taught 20 Harvard students what the rest of American looks like:

    On a blustery afternoon in April, I filed into a van along with 10 students from Harvard. We had just spent the last two days in Chicopee, Mass., where we had chatted with the police chief and his force, the mayor and his staff, small-business owners, waitresses and firemen about their struggles living in small-town America.

    The undergrads were buzzing with their impressions. Chicopee is about 90 miles west of their prestigious university in Cambridge, but when it comes to shared experience, it might as well have been 1,000 light years away.

    As they settled in, I looked at them.

    “So,” I said, “who do you think most of the people you just got to know voted for president?”

    None of the students had an answer. It hadn’t come up in their conversations and they didn’t know I had privately asked each person who they’d voted for.

    So, I let a minute pass and told them.

    “Nearly every one of them voted for Trump.”

    My students looked stunned, at first. But then a recognition crossed their faces.

  • Kevin Williamson wrote an excellent article on asymmetrical capitalism, the perverse results that emerge when governments over-regulate industries like airlines, banks, credit card companies, and health insurers.

    This pokes people right in their sense of fairness. Fairness is an almost infinitely plastic standard in the wrong hands, but it is nonetheless a big part of the real world’s moral architecture. Progressives look at these situations and conclude that the answer is — more regulation. They believe that the way to achieve fairness is to simply mandate it. This represents some pretty primitive thinking, but primitive thinking dominates politics. Progressives are not alone in their frequent blindness to the ways in which regulation itself is a driving force behind these problems. (It is not the only force, to be sure.) A better answer is more-robust competition, but it is not always clear how to go about achieving that.

    These deficiencies represent what amounts to an enormous tax on Americans. Some of those are direct costs: We pay more for health insurance, mortgage insurance, and Internet services than we probably would in a stronger market. But many of those are invisible taxes, too: American businesses waste billions of dollars a year on unnecessary travel expenses because they cannot count on U.S. airlines to keep to anything like their published schedules, which means they end up having to tack hotel expenses and 48 hours of diminished productivity onto the bill for a two-hour meeting. Many of those costs end up getting passed along to consumers and providers of business services — and to employees, too, to the extent that attaching $200,000 a year in expenses to a $75,000-a-year employee may put downward pressure on wages.

  • Barack Obama’s presidential library is going to cost Illinois taxpayers at least $200 million.

  • The U.S. and South Korea will reportedly suspend “large scale” military drills, which aligns with Donald Trump’s discussions with Kim Jong Un.

  • A car bomb killed at least 26 people at a gathering of Afghan and Taliban troops in Afghanistan. ISIS claimed responsibility. Afghanistan’s President extended the country’s unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban by 10 days.

  • A shootout and a fire in Nicaragua killed eight people and broke the truce between the government and opposition groups. Talks between the two sides are continuing anyway.

  • Cambodia’s Prince Norodom Ranariddh was injured and his wife was killed in a car crash.

Links for 6-16-2018