Links for 3-16-2017

  • Someone — possibly a foreign intelligence agency — appears to have hacked commercial cell phone towers in Washington, D.C. and other areas of the country, and they’re using that access to track people.

  • The federal district court judge in Hawaii who blocked Donald Trump’s latest immigration/travel executive order based his ruling on his beliefs about Trump’s motives, not the law:

    Throughout the ruling, Judge Watson concedes there’s nothing about the executive order that would be problematic if not for his interpretation of Trump’s statements made in the months and years prior to issuing it. He repeatedly states his feeling that Trump had a bad motive in issuing the order.

    Judges using campaign rhetoric to infer intent instead of plainly evaluating the law as written is a dangerous development. Also because the public can witness the selective use of this trick, it undermines confidence in the judiciary at a time when the judiciary can’t afford too much erosion of trust.

    These are also good points by @ThomasHCrown:




  • The latest debt limit deal expired yesterday, and the federal government added $1.4 trillion to its debt over the 16 months it was in effect. The current federal debt (not including unfunded liabilities) stands at $19.9 trillion.

  • The U.S. Navy demonstrated firing two SM–6 missiles in rapid succession at a ballistic missile target, which is something they couldn’t do with their previous generation SM–5 missiles. Firing two (or more) missiles is intended as a fail-safe in case one misses.

  • Kevin Williamson writes that the Republican and Democratic parties have swapped roles:

    The Democrats have become what the Republicans once were: the party of the respectable upper-middle class — and of many of those who aspire to it. (The poor are for patronage and vote-farming.) They are, as the bourgeoisie always are, obsessed with social convention and etiquette (If a young white woman in college wears hoop earrings, is it “cultural appropriation”? How ashamed should I be for having watched Speedy Gonzales cartoons as a kid — and enjoyed them?). The Republicans have gone seeking tribunes of the plebs. (Weird thing: Our tribunes of the plebs have an awful lot of private jets backed in Palm Beach.) Up is down, left is right, confusion reigns.

    In neither party’s case does this recent evolution constitute an improvement: It would be one thing if the Democrats had embraced their inner aristocrats with a decent and forthright spirit of public service rather than their current nastiness and stupidity, or if the newly class-conscious Republicans were proceeding as people who are (as Someone once put it) “poor in spirit,” putting generosity of spirit rather than seething resentment at the center of their new concern for those at the margins of modern life. But that is not the case. The Democrats have become ordinary snobs of a particularly embarrassing variety, and the Republicans have become incontinent rage monkeys, looking for someone — anyone — to blame. They are much more interested in afflicting the comfortable than in comforting the afflicted. But there is another approach to life’s losers, a better one, if only they could remember.

  • Congressman Thomas Massie has concluded that voters who supported libertarians and Donald Trump were just voting for the crazies:

    “All this time,” Massie explained, “I thought they were voting for libertarian Republicans. But after some soul searching I realized when they voted for Rand and Ron and me in these primaries, they weren’t voting for libertarian ideas — they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along.”

  • Federal and state prosecutors decided they will not charge New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over his campaign fundraising practices.

  • Queen Elizabeth approved the law giving Prime Minister Theresa May authority to trigger Britain’s exit from the European Union.

  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s VVD won a parliamentary majority in yesterday’s election, but lost eight seats in the process. One of Rutte’s coalition partners, the Labour party, got blown out (they lost 29 seats), so Rutte will have to build a new coalition. Geert Wilders’ PVV party gained five seats, which is fewer than polls predicted. To win, Rutte and VVD had to co-opt many of Wilders’ stances on immigration, so Wilders did shift the public discussion.

  • Someone sent a letter bomb to the International Monetary Fund office in Paris.

Links for 1-22-2017

Links for 7-15-2016

Links for 7-14-2016

Links for 7-11-2016

  • Robert Kraychik speculates on what the media coverage of the Dallas shootings would have been like if the shooter was a right wing Christian conservative.

  • President Obama is visiting Dallas tomorrow for a memorial service, and Ben Shapiro thinks Dallas cops should turn their backs to him.

  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott suffered second and third degree burns to his lower legs and feet while he was on vacation in Jackson Hole. He was leaving the hospital in Jackson when he learned about the Dallas shootings and flew back to Texas for a press conference the following day; he said anything about the burns. Abbott was admitted to Brooke Army Medical Center today for treatment of an infection and will miss tomorrow’s memorial service in Dallas.

  • Black Lives Matter protestors attacked police in St. Paul, Minnesota and blocked I–94 for hours. Someone dropped a concrete block on an officer’s head, fracturing one his vertebrae.

  • Kurt Schlichter thinks it’s time to reboot the country:

    Welcome to 1968 2.0, the new and improved chaos, featuring a cutting edge assault on our foundational principles by an idiot elite that thinks it can gut the rule of law without consequence. Time to reboot, to wipe the hard drive and reload the factory software coded two-plus centuries ago by those dead white male geniuses.

    Later:

    Obama and the progressive elite were not satisfied merely with exonerating the clearly guilty Hillary Clinton of charges that would have sent any mere mortal to the slammer. They had to shove it in our faces. The AG met with Bill Clinton. Then the FBI director laid out a devastating case, followed by an “and…nope.” Then President Faily McWorsethancarter swept her away in Air Force One – at our expense – to campaign with her and even placed her at a podium with the presidential seal while the liberal media thrilled and quivered. This is beyond mere corruption. This is them gloating over what they see as their unassailable power. This is them laughing at us.

    The elites don’t understand their endgame:

    What’s the endgame? What happens when – and the day will come – the normals say “No?” Does the elite try force? There’s no doubt it would if it could, but in the end, it needs to ask itself another question: Exactly who is willing to fight and die for their liberal Utopia? The elitists themselves? Their snowflakey kids Kaden and Ashleigh? Do they think they can pay enough people to suit up and go make people conform? How much money will you need to pay somebody to risk his skin to go down to Texas and try to take those Lone Star knuckle-draggers’ guns?

  • Lt. General Michael Flynn went from pro-abortion to pro-life overnight. Some conversions are opportunistic.

  • Senate Democrats have been assigned conservative non-profit groups to criticize in floor speeches because those groups hold heretical views on climate change:

    Internal emails about the effort obtained by the Free Beacon reveal a highly coordinated plan between members of Congress and environmental activist groups to fuel a public relations and legal offensive against fossil fuel companies and groups they support.

  • The president who said he’d get U.S. troops out of Iraq is sending another 560 soldiers to Iraq. These soldiers will be going to the Qayyarah airbase, which Iraqi forces recently recaptured from ISIS; the Iraqis will use the base as a staging area for their assault on Mosul.

  • The Obama administration shipped two Club Gitmo residents to Serbia. One is originally from Yemen, the other from Tajikistan.

  • President Obama is planning major nuclear weapon policy changes before he leaves office – changes that he’ll claim don’t require Congressional approval. One option is a “no first use” policy.

  • Evan Bayh is running for U.S. Senate again. He’ll replace Congressman Baron Hill on the Democrat side of the ballot, and will face Congressman Todd Young in November. This move gives Democrats a much better chance of picking up this open seat (Dan Coats is retiring).

  • David Cameron will resign as the U.K.’s prime minister on Wednesday, and will be replaced by Theresa May. May and Andrea Leadsom were the two remaining candidates for Tory leader, and Leadsom dropped her bid this morning.

  • A leaked German legal document says more than 1,200 women were sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve across several German cities, including more than 600 in Cologne.

    More than 2,000 men were allegedly involved, and 120 suspects — about half of them foreign nationals who had only recently arrived in Germany — have been identified.

    Only four have been convicted, but more trials are underway.