Some Ally

Under pressure from its Arab neighbors, Qatar has expelled some key players in the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, whose mission, among other things, is to overthrow secular governments throughout the Middle East and replace them with MB-approved governments. Those expellees are making a beeline for…Turkey, a NATO member and supposedly staunch Middle East ally of the US.

However.

In addition to giving asylum to the MB’s leadership, Turkey

  • is host to the Palestinian Authority’s Hamas branch “overseas command center”
  • allows ISIS to use Turkey’s territory to sell ISIS-stolen oil on Turkey’s black market

More Party-of-No Yeses

The House passed three more bills in this short period before the mid-term election campaign recess.

One bill makes it illegal for IRS workers to use personal email accounts to conduct official business.

It’s already illegal to do this in many circumstances, as all official business communications must be recorded and saved. It’s also already contrary to IRS policy; although the IRS has ignored this policy whenever that became convenient.

This is, at bottom, an obvious move, too: private enterprise has, for years, held the flip side—the use of company equipment to conduct personal business—to be a fire-able offense; although they allow some limited personal use.

How Does This Work?

A Senate investigation released Wednesday [17 Sep] found that hackers linked to the Chinese government broke into US military transportation companies’ computer networks 20 times in a year.

But the Senate Armed Services Committee says officials of the US Transportation Command, responsible for moving troops across the globe in times of crisis, were told about just two of those incidents. If a system was compromised, they may not have known, the panel said.

Words Have Consequences

KT McFarland pointed out some of their consequence in a Friday interview on Fox NewsHappening Now program against the backdrop of the Russian-supported “rebellion” in Ukraine and the just being agreed “cease fire” between those “rebels” and Ukrainian forces.

It seems that President Barack Obama, while spending a day in Estonia, had assured the Estonians that NATO would, of course, rush to their defense in the event of “an attack” on Estonia. The next day, Obama repeated that assurance, sort of. This time, he said NATO would rush to Estonia’s defense in the event of “an armed attack” on Estonia.

Good, and Bad

The 6th Circuit, in a case involving an assault on an Amish man by various members of his community because he didn’t conform to their standards, came to the right answer, but then it did the wrong thing with its answer.

The assaulters were convicted of their assault, with the crime and the conviction treated by the prosecutor and the trial court as a hate crime. The Circuit Court ruled, though,

Personal conflict, not religion, was the driving motive behind beard- and hair-cutting attacks targeting Amish, an appeals court panel ruled Wednesday in overturning the hate-crime convictions of 16 men and women.

And So It Begins

The crumbling of the Afghan polity is under way.

A reporter wrote a news reporting/opinion piece about the Afghan government that didn’t comport with that government’s approved view of itself. As a result,

Afghanistan’s attorney general has banned a New York Times reporter from leaving the country after he wrote a story about unnamed officials seeking to take power if the country’s presidential election deadlock persists.

The reporter’s…error?

Attorney General Basir Azizi said the story…could “create fear and confusion among the people” and that [reporter Matthew] Rosenberg will not be allowed to leave the country until it has been investigated by officials.

“Climate” Again

Texas and California are in the middle of droughts. This is, of course, due to man-caused climate change. Or is it? Watts Up With That has a couple of graphs that bear on the matter.

This one gives one idea of the history of droughts and wet periods over the last, oh, say, 1,200 years:NorthAmericaDroughtGrid

Press Mindset

This is from an AP article, but I suggest it’s typical of the press generally. The AP is reporting on a case involving the drunk driver-involved deaths of two children and the immediately subsequent shooting death of the drunk driver. The father of the two children is accused of

killing a drunk driver in a fit of rage after his two sons were fatally struck in 2012 on a rural road in Southeast Texas.

His defense attorney says [the father] is a good man, a grieving father, and not a murderer. At the same time, his defense hasn’t publicly suggested who else might be responsible for [the drunk driver]‘s shooting death.

The White House as Tax-Writing Authority

Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew originally (originally: three weeks ago, in mid-July) acknowledged he had no authority to alter the tax implications of US businesses reincorporating overseas in order to reduce their US tax burden.

Now he’s looking at (not for) ways to “meaningfully reduce the tax benefits after inversions take place” because reducing a company’s cost structure, the legally and fiscally required behavior of any company’s managers, by making use of this “unpatriotic tax loophole” is unpatriotic. I’ll ignore the fact that what’s unpatriotic here is the usurious tax rates charged American companies and the zeal with which this administration attacks American companies for worrying about their bottom line more than they worry about government imperatives in order to get to a different point. As The Wall Street Journal put it,

Obama Is Legally Allowed to Enforce—or Not Enforce—the Law

Amazingly, a professor at the University of Chicago’s law school wrote this in the New Republic, and he’s serious. Yet he cites not a single clause from the Constitution, not a single phrase, to support his…thesis.

Eric Posner wrote, among other things,

Would President Barack Obama, by refusing to enforce the immigration laws against millions of undocumented immigrants, be engaging in “domestic Caesarism,” as Ross Douthat charges [in a New York Times op-ed]?

…if he chooses not to enforce immigration laws against “up to half the country’s population of illegal immigrants,” as Douthat claims, the president wouldn’t be doing anything different from what his predecessors have done (or rather, not done).