Links for 6-7-2018

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.

Links for 2-14-2018

Links for 9-10-2017

Links for 6-25-2017

  • Yuval Levin writes on the Senate health insurance bill:

    The federalization of health-insurance regulation is the core of Obamacare, and of the problem with it. The House bill sought to reverse it partially by allowing the states to obtain waivers from a couple of elements of Title I of the law—particularly the definition of essential health benefits, and the age-bands that govern how widely premiums can vary between younger and older people. The Senate bill pursues similar goals within the framework of Obamacare, by vastly expanding the range of permissible state waivers under Section 1332 of the law.

    Under Obamacare, these waivers technically allow states to pursue different insurance-regulation regimes, but they are very limited in scope because a state has to show that it would achieve exactly the same thing the federal Obamacare rules would achieve, which means states can’t really do anything all that different. The Senate bill removes most of these “guardrails” on the waivers, requiring only that a state show that its proposed alternative would not increase the federal deficit. So while a state could not, for instance, end community rating rules (because the 1332 waivers have to operate within the framework of community rating created by Obamacare), it could very significantly change other kinds of rules and requirements within its borders—to a far greater degree than anything the House waivers envisioned. And the bill requires that these waivers be more or less automatically approved.

  • Sarah Hoyt writes on our slow motion cultural revolution:

    I don’t know who coined “Reeeee” for the sound progressives make when in the middle of a scream fest about some – mostly imaginary and unintended – offense. I know that for several months now all my friends use it, usually when just having dealt with some idiot who keeps yammering on about moon ferrets (or patriarchy. Or white supremacy. All of which have the exact same degree of existence in modern America.)

    Later:

    As long as the Reeeee brigades can convey the thought that our past is vaguely dirty and we shouldn’t know it or study or inherit anything from it, they’ll have won. They will have implanted the intellectual genes of Marxism, the monstrous ideas of the Communist Manifesto – including the notion that children should be raised by “a village”, or in other words, the State, so they won’t be tained by their parents’ values.

    The “taint” they’re avoiding is the idea that an individual, of himself, is something worthy of respect and self-determination, the idea of property rights and self-ownership, the idea of something outside the state.

  • The Trump administration is continuing an Obama era policy of designating election systems as “critical infrastructure” so the federal government has a say in how it’s operated. Many members of Congress are of the same mind, but a majority of state secretaries of state are opposed on separation of powers grounds.

  • A truck transporting oil overturned in Pakistan, and people gathered to collect the leaking oil. Then someone ignited the oil, killing 153 people.

Links for 5-31-2016