Links for 3-29-2018

  • Russia booted 60 American diplomats out of the country and ordered the closure of the consulate in St. Petersburg.

  • Another collection of text messages exchanged between FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page appeared, and these suggest coordination between Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Senator Harry Reid, and and CIA Director John Brennan during the early days of the investigation into collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians.

  • Stanley Kurtz wrote a short history of First Amendment problems at Clemson University:

    Clemson’s liberals and conservative are at daggers drawn, not so much debating national policy as struggling over the ability of one side to control the expression of the other. However Clemson chooses to address issues like historical memorials and faculty diversity hires, those decisions ought to be the outcome of open discussion and debate, not the punishment or suppression of speech.

    Far from undermining civility, free speech inculcates the practice of respectful self-restraint in the face of disagreement. Restoration of free speech at Clemson is the best hope for staunching the hair-trigger sensitivities and trolling now embittering its dueling political factions.

  • A survey of the people who participated in the “March for Our Lives” protest in Washington, D.C. indicates the attendees were not the people the media portrayed them to be — in particular, only about 10% were under 18 years old.

  • The Public Interest Legal Foundation sued the Office of the Harris County Voter Registrar for refusing to open its voter rolls to inspection. Harris County has admitted to problems with non-citizens registered to vote, but won’t allow its voter rolls to be inspected to see how big that problem is.

  • Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will stand trial on influence peddling charges:

    The case came about after investigators used phone-taps to examine separate allegations that late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi funded Sarkozy’s campaign. The investigators began to suspect the former president had kept tabs on a separate case through a network of informants.

    Later:

    Based on the intercepts, Sarkozy, who still had political influence at the time despite having left office, is accused of having discussed offering a promotion to a prosecutor in return for tip-offs on another campaign funding probe.

  • Nissan and Renault are reportedly discussing a merger, which would resolve the strange relationship the two companies already have — Renault owns a 43% interest in Nissan, Nissan owns a 15% interest in Renault, and the two companies share a chairman, Carlos Ghosn.

Links for 1-8-2018

Links for 9-27-2017

Links for 5-31-2017

Links for 6-1-2016

Links for 8-10-2015

Links for 7-20-2015

  • Stephen Miller wrote an excellent post about the larger implications of the Planned Parenthood video released by the Center for Medical Progress:

    The debate surrounding the basic morality, or lack thereof, of abortion will continue for generations. However, the argument Planned Parenthood doesn’t want to materialize is the one likely to be made by political moderates and casual attendees to the debate. People don’t have to be strict pro-life activists or even believers to be repelled by the demonstrable ecstasy Planned Parenthood and their progressive cheerleaders have shown in recent years at the dehumanization of such a difficult personal decision. The ghoulish delight the far left fringe expresses in their pez-dispenser abortion ideology is far more offensive to most young social moderates than the concern for the unborn expressed by the Right. Now couple all that with their new look: as street pimps auctioning off baby limbs for profit like an imitation Rolex sold out of the trunk of a car, with that profit then turning into a campaign donation to a Democrat candidate, the Metroid Mother Brain being the 2016 Democrat frontrunner in Hillary Clinton.

    How far they have fallen since “Safe, legal and rare.”

  • Mollie Hemingway compiled a long list of questions prompted by the Planned Parenthood video that an enterprising, curious reporter should be investigating. Of course you won’t see the mainstream media touch any of these.

  • The Obama administration has employed the doctor in the Planned Parenthood video, Deborah Nucatola, as a consultant for years. Most recently she worked as a technical consultant and expert on a report intended to increase the likelihood that babies are born healthy. This appears to be outside Nucatola’s area of expertise. Mary Hasson writes:

    Leave it to the Obama administration to tap an abortionist for “expert” advice on ensuring that children are “born healthy”—an abortionist, mind you, who relishes butchering a “17-weeker” and bagging up a tiny infant’s “heart, lung, liver” to sell for a few extra bucks.

    This particular working group employed several other abortionists, so it’s not as if Nucatola was a one-off.

  • Jeffrey Lord points out that the media outlets promoting the Donald Trump/John McCain kerfuffle are the same outlets that bashed John McCain during his 2008 presidential campaign, often citing his notoriously short temper.

  • Mark Steyn calls for a pox on both Trump’s and McCain’s houses:

    Forty years ago, John McCain was a war hero. Since then he’s mostly been an asshole. The problem is you can’t out-asshole Donald Trump. McCain is in the Superbowl of assholery and hopelessly outmatched. He was doing assholery-as-usual last week, sneering at Trump’s supporters as “the crazies”. On recent polls that’s getting on for 20 per cent of the Republican vote. If 20 per cent of Republican “crazies” take the same umbrage at McCain’s sneer that Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Reince Preibus et al have taken on McCain’s behalf at Trump’s, then Hillary will be President with a Democratic Senate and maybe even House.

    Steyn concludes with this:

    So maybe now the Republican bigshots could drop the queeny hysteria and begin talking about something – anything – that matters?

  • Kevin Williamson spent time with Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and had some interesting interactions with the people who attended his rallies:

    Aside from Grandma Stalin there, there’s not a lot of overtly Soviet iconography on display around the Bernieverse, but the word “socialism” is on a great many lips. Not Bernie’s lips, for heaven’s sake: The guy’s running for president. But Tara Monson, a young mother who has come out to the UAW hall to support her candidate, is pretty straightforward about her issues: “Socialism,” she says. “My husband’s been trying to get me to move to a socialist country for years — but now, maybe, we’ll get it here.” The socialist country she has in mind is Norway, which of course isn’t a socialist country at all: It’s an oil emirate. Monson is a classic American radical, which is to say, a wounded teenager in an adult’s body: Asked what drew her to socialism and Bernie, she says that she is “very atheist,” and that her Catholic parents were not accepting of this. She goes on to cite her “social views,” and by the time she gets around to the economic questions, she’s not Helle Thorning-Schmidt — she’s Pat Buchanan, complaining about “sending our jobs overseas.”

    L’Internationale, my patootie. This is national socialism.

  • Salena Zito explains how frustration with Washington, D.C. in flyover country is buoying the candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders: “Americans are just tired of it all. Tired of no one speaking honestly to them, tired of being told they cannot speak honestly… People look at government with an anger and a frustration which Washington does not understand… If you are ‘out here’ — outside Washington, outside of the coastal elites — you are overwhelmed by the incompetency; if you are ‘inside’ those, you don’t understand folks’ skepticism about everything related to government, including cutting a deal with Iran.”

  • The U.N. Security Council endorsed the Iranian nuclear deal. Secretary of State John Kerry claims that he argued during the negotiations that the Security Council shouldn’t vote on lifting sanctions until the U.S. Congress voted on the deal, but Iran, Russia, and the European countries wouldn’t go along.

  • Mike Rappaport not only thinks the Iranian nuclear deal is a bad one, but executive usurpation of the Senate’s treaty power is even worse:

    Not only is the deal unconstitutional, its unconstitutionality is essential to it occurring. If the President had to secure two thirds of the Senate or a majority of both houses, this deal almost certainly would not be approved.

  • The Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, and 28 of his senior staffers have been using private web-based email from their office computers – at least they did until today, when that access was suspended. We don’t know if they used these private email systems purely for personal use or if they followed the lead of other Obama administration officials and used them for official work, too.

  • The Center for Immigration Studies and the Pew Research Center estimate that 2.5 million illegal immigrants arrived in the U.S. during President Obama’s years in office.

  • The USS North Dakota is the first U.S. Navy submarine to launch an underwater drone. The submarine and its crew accomplished this during a recently completed deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Department of Defense regulations enable military commanders to permit their troops to carry weapons, but they’re so afraid that someone will lose or accidentally discharge a weapon that they’d rather accept the risk of a Chattanooga-style attack.

  • Stanley Kurtz explains how the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule effectively annexes suburbs to cities.

  • Victor Davis Hanson writes that San Francisco’s leaders must believe the South won the Civil War because they’re perfectly happy nullifying federal laws, specifically those related to deporting illegal immigrants:

    Let us be honest: San Francisco’s legal nullification is not an act of racial blindness and fairness under the law, but one of political pandering, ethnic chauvinism and misplaced liberal narcissism.

  • Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus is among the politicians who attempted to convince the University of Texas to admit students who wouldn’t otherwise make it into the school.

  • A suspected ISIS suicide bomber killed at least 30 people in Suruc, Turkey, which is just across the border from Kobani, Syria.