Links for 11-13-2017

Links for 11-6-2017

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 11-3-2017

Links for 11-2-2017

  • The Department of Justice is contemplating whether to charge at least six Russian government officials in the Democratic National Committee computer hacking case.

  • Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) won’t run for re-election.

  • The Senate approved 27 Trump nominees today, including 16 ambassadors.

  • The Trump administration imposed punitive duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports.

  • Four Democratic election workers in Philadelphia were charged with crimes, including “intimidating voters, casting bogus ballots, and falsely certifying the results in their polling place.”

    Perhaps the most flagrant incident (at least among the ones we know of) involved a pair of husband and wife Republican voters who both cast their ballots for the GOP candidate. One of the votes was registered properly while the other was replaced with a write-in ballot with the name of the Democrat filled in, effectively nullifying the vote for their household.

  • Michael Brendan Dougherty writes that we’re on the slippery slope to shunning the Founders:

    Previously, civil-rights activists such as King reconciled white America’s devotion to the nation’s founding and their own ambition to living as equals under the law by casting the Declaration and other artifacts of the Founding as a “promissory note” whose liberties need to be justly extended to all human beings in America. And many today say that we can honor the Founders because, unlike the the Confederates, the principles they enshrined in our Founding documents could be used against the injustice of slavery and white supremacy.

    It is my contention that this way of honoring the Founders will soon begin to seem dishonest to liberals. It will be seen as a concession to a recalcitrant prejudice and a political reality that is rapidly disappearing, the same way civil unions for same-sex couples are now seen.

    It is easy to imagine a writer who grew up reading Ta-Nehisi Coates on “the First White President” looking back at Bouie’s assertion that we have statues to Jefferson on account of his authorship of the Declaration of Independence with a jaundiced eye. That future man of letters will observe that the Declaration’s invocations of liberty and its pretensions of universalism were merely Whig propaganda against a King. He will assert that Jefferson did not actually believe that all men were so endowed by their creator. He will hasten to add that as America achieved the political sovereignty, Jefferson became more convinced of white supremacy, more secure in the view that white liberty could be guaranteed only through black bondage. Many reading this argument will conclude that by raising statues to Jefferson we are crediting him only for his hypocrisy, a privilege only white racists and slavers get in America. They will conclude, in other words, that America has spent centuries sanctifying its foundational hypocrisy. Land of the Free, home of the enslaved.

  • Gavin Williamson is the U.K.’s new Defense Secretary.

  • More than 180,000 people, most of them Kurds, have been displaced as a result of the fighting between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi army and its Shiite militia allies.

  • Iraq’s central government wants control of Kurdistan’s oil exports.

  • A Spanish judge ordered that nine leaders of Catalonia’s secessionist government be held in custody pending a trial.

Links for 10-31-2017

Links for 10-27-2017