Category Archives: Political Commentary

The FBI Chief

Kevin Williamson says he should be canned.

I’m no big fan of Wray (or opponent, either), but I don’t think this particular incident, that happened not long after he came into the job, justifies his firing per se. I guess if he’d come in with a writ to clean house at the FBI, it would be more justifiable. But if I were Trump, I’d put him on notice. At a minimum, if he wants to keep his job, he’d better come up, very publicly, with a clearly effective plan as to how he’s going to prevent this sort of thing from continuing to happen. After all, it’s about the fourth time they’ve screwed the pooch on this sort of thing, and dozens are dead and injured, from the Boston Marathon to south Florida.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Jeez: “Minnesota Terrorist Let Go After Telling FBI She Wanted To Join Al Qaeda And Wear Suicide Belt.”

[Update a few minutes later]

Not FBI related per se, but related: IRS resistance to tax reform (or IRS reform):

[T]he IRS is already playing games with the GOP tax reform.

Just a week after passage, the IRS rushed out guidance declaring that most taxpayers couldn’t deduct prepaid 2018 property taxes on their 2017 returns to claim that benefit before the new law kicks in. The IRS decided this with no input from the White House or other agencies. IRS bureaucrats—many of them implacably opposed to his White House and bitter over recent congressional oversight—will have plenty of opportunity to cause trouble with its interpretations of a complicated tax reform. …

The swamp is rarely drained, for the simple reason that it takes rare and extraordinary governance. It requires leaders who are willing to offend institutions and top advisers, expose internal abuse, and willingly surrender unjustifiable powers. Today’s Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are examples of what happens when those leaders follow the far more common route of succumbing to the natives.

Mr. Mnuchin’s Treasury can make the successful rollout and implementation of the Trump tax reform a priority, or it can roll to an IRS bureaucracy. That ought to be an easy call.

That’s the task for Wray as well, if he wants to take it on. He should be considered on probation until we see something positive happen. And he doesn’t have to wait for Horowitz’s report on malfeasance in the election to start to clean house with the terrorism reports.

The Tradeoffs Of Reducing Gun Violence

Thoughts from Dan McLaughlin:

Even if the mainstream media goes dark, there’s social media. Our exhibitionist culture may encourage disturbed people to perform acts of retribution that guarantee them maximum publicity; think of the mass shooter as taking a kind of mass selfie of rage. But that genie can’t be put back in the bottle, either, at least not without a massive campaign against freedom of expression.

As always, human beings are the real weapons of mass destruction, and the tools they choose are not the causes of violence. If we want to weed out people who might commit violent acts in the future, we need to scale back due process protections and incarcerate more people on less evidence. Although that too is a trade-off many of us would find it hard to make, we could plausibly target privacy laws that make it difficult to compile records on people with a history of threatening behavior.

Some don’t want to accept that freedom comes with a cost. Or they don’t care about freedom.

[Update early afternoon]

Five terrible messages the media sends to school shooters.

Yes. They’re only encouraging more of it.

Climate And Libel

Some thoughts on Michael Mann, the lawsuits, and the sad state of climate science, from Judith Curry.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Colonizing The Moon

I agree that we have the tech to do this affordably, but I strenuously disagree with this:

The activities at this moon base would be focusing on science, as is the case in the Antarctic. It could provide an official U.S. government presence on the moon, and its motivation would be rooted in U.S. national policy—again as are the U.S. Antarctic bases.

To the degree that the focus should be on “science,” it should be about better learning how to live on the moon, and Antarctica is a terrible precedent, in that we aren’t allowed to exploit it for its resources. That’s also why the Outer Space Treaty itself, which was modeled on the Antarctic Treaty, is a problem.

Susan Rice

Why she wrote an email to herself.

I continue to await Horowitz’s report. I suspect it will be a bombshell.

[Update a few minutes later]

The Trump and Clinton scandals are claiming a lot of bodies, at the Justice Department. I suspect that there will be some going down at Foggy Bottom, too.

[Update a few more minutes later]

Rice’s memo implies that Comey seriously misled the Senate about his meeting with Obama. In Comey’s rant about “liars and weasels,” he displays a serious lack of self awareness.

[Update a while later]

Carter Page, useful idiot.

I can’t recall in my life such a huge disparity between the media narrative and reality.

[Update after noon]

Last link was wrong, fixed now.