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  • 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 7-16-2018

Links for 7-8-2018

  • The soldier who died in a green-on-blue attack in Afghanistan has been identified as U.S. Army Cpl. Joseph Maciel, of South Gate, California.

  • The Trump administration halted ObamaCare’s “risk adjustment payments,” which were basically health insurance company bailouts.

  • Kevin Williamson writes on Democrats’ complaints about gerrymandering and plans to pack the Supreme Court:

    Drawing up new legislative districts is an inherently political exercise; as one longtime legislator told me long ago when I was young and ignorant, it is the most political thing a legislature regularly does. A few progressives lately have argued, following a road-to-Damascus conversion on the issue, that “extreme gerrymandering” makes necessary a move to redistricting by purportedly scientific means employed by disinterested nonpartisan experts, who are sure to be disinterested and nonpartisan in the sense that the New York Times is a nonpartisan newspaper and the American Bar Association is a disinterested seeker of excellence in the legal profession.

    If the control of state legislatures were split 32 to 14 in the Democrats’ favor rather than in the Republicans’ favor, as things currently stand, we’d be hearing precisely nothing about this. Most people who pay any attention to politics understand that, which is why the Left’s efforts to whip up national hysteria over redistricting (or the Electoral College, or the fact that the First Amendment really does protect political communication, after all) have not come to much. Hypocrisy may not count for a great deal in politics, but sometimes it does tamp down the energy associated with a particular issue. People do tend to notice that there is no antiwar movement on the left when there’s a Democratic president.

  • A federal district court judge shot down the government’s attempt to resume its prosecution of Cliven Bundy, his family, and his supporters:

    Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro said again in a filing Tuesday that prosecutors “willfully” failed to disclose to defense lawyers evidence that government agents provoked the Bundy family into calling supporters to their defense by acts “such as the insertion and positioning of snipers and cameras surveilling the Bundy home.”

    Navarro said she found no reason to reconsider her dismissal of charges in January against Bundy, sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy and Montana militia leader Ryan Payne.

  • Theresa May’s Brexit Secretary, David Davis, resigned, saying he can’t support her business-friendly, “soft Brexit” plan:

    “The general direction of policy will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one,” Davis said in his resignation letter to May.

    He criticised May’s decision to maintain a “common rule book” with the EU, mirroring the bloc’s rules and regulations, saying it would hand “control of large swathes of our economy to the EU and is certainly not returning control of our laws”.

    “It seems to me that the national interest requires a Secretary of State in my Department that is an enthusiastic believer in your approach, and not merely a reluctant conscript.”

  • A British woman, Dawn Sturgess, died of Novachok poisoning. Her male friend who was also poisoned is still in the hospital in critical condition.

  • Another critic of Vladimir Putin living in exile in Britain turned up dead. Nikolai Glushkov was found strangled to death on the day he was supposed to appear in court in a case involving Aeroflot.

  • A team of six SAS soldiers credited their Belgian Malinois dog for saving their lives during an ambush in northern Syria.

  • Iraqi police opened fire on protesters near Basra; there are differing accounts of how many people were killed or wounded. People were protesting against “a shortage of jobs, electricity, water and other basic services.”

  • Six members of Tunisia’s security forces were killed in an ambush near the border with Algeria.

  • Turkey’s government fired 18,000 civil servants, half of them from the police force.

  • Judges in Brazil are battling one another over releasing former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from prison. Some people (and apparently some judges) want him to run for president again:

    Appeals court judge Rogerio Favreto, who served in the Justice Ministry under Lula and was appointed by his handpicked successor, ruled earlier on Sunday that the former president should have the same conditions to campaign as other candidates.

    However, the chief justice of the TRF–4 appeals court, Carlos Eduardo Thompson Flores, granted a request from prosecutors to keep Lula in prison, blocking Favreto’s ruling.

Links for 6-28-2018