Short and Sweet

I watched the Nadler burlesque show that’s masquerading as the House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing yesterday so you didn’t have to.  Here is the short and sweet of it.

The three Progressive-Democrat law professor witnesses each opened their opening statements by saying President Donald Trump was guilty and should be impeached even before they knew the impeachment charges being preferred.  They couldn’t know the charges because the Judiciary Committee has not written the articles of impeachment. Indeed, the committee chairman, Jerry Nadler (D, NY) has refused—and he refused repeatedly during yesterday’s show—even to say when the next hearing would be held or what witnesses would be called.

Surveillance

It turns out the People’s Republic of China government is a collection of pikers compared to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a pair of bills Monday, one of which will require all consumer electronic devices sold in the country to be pre-installed with Russian software, while the other will register individual journalists as foreign agents.

Government spyware pre-installed on Russian citizens’ devices, so Russia’s modern-day KGB successor can track where Russian citizens are, with whom they’re communicating, what they’re doing, down to the last detail.

Expanding Surveillance State

Want a new phone in the People’s Republic of China? You have to give up an image of your face to the government.

The requirement, which came into effect Sunday, is aimed at minimizing telephone fraud and preventing the reselling and illegal transfer of mobile phone cards, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a notice in September.

Right. That’s believable.  Never mind that

…facial recognition becomes more and more prevalent in [the PRC], with authorities applying artificial intelligence to sift through reams of data collected in a bid to boost the economy and centralize oversight of the population.

Medicare for All

Simon Johnson, of the MIT Sloan School of Management and an “informal” advisor to Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D, MA) presidential campaign, thinks her Medicare for All scheme is the cat’s meow.  It would, he claims

cut costs by reducing inefficiency, eliminating predatory pricing (for example, for prescription drugs) and using the purchasing power of a single-payer system. Her plan would also constrain the growth rate of underlying medical costs.

Score One for Facebook

Facebook had a post up, recently, that the government of Singapore didn’t like and of which that government disputed the truthfulness.

As a result, By Order Of the Singapore government, Facebook added a notice—a “label”—to the post:

Facebook is legally required to tell you that the Singapore government says this post has false information.

For a wonder, Facebook didn’t take the post down, nor did it make any effort to “correct” its content.  Instead, it posted the notice, letting readers decide for themselves…whether they should take seriously the post or the notice required by a mendacious government.

Smart Move

Although, had it been me, I would have ignored it, not dignifying the thing with a response.

“It” is House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler’s (D, NY) pro forma invitation to President Donald Trump to send along his lawyer to be present at the Nadler Impeachment Inquisition, so long as Trump responded by Nadler’s deadline with the lawyer’s name and impeachment areas of interest.

The smart move was Trump’s refusal to accede to Nadler’s demand.

Head in the Sand?

Volkswagen is building cars in Xinjiang, People’s Republic of China.  You know Xinjiang, the “semi-autonomous” region of the PRC that’s home to tens millions of Muslims and to President Xi Jinping’s “reeducation” camps, Mao-ist internment camps for millions of those Muslims, a people of whom Xi disapproves.

VW thinks all of that is jake.

Speaking with DW on Tuesday, the company said its 2012 decision to open the Urumqi facility was “based purely on economics.” VW says it expects “further economic growth in the region over the coming years.”

A NATO Disconnect

French President Emmanuel Macron extended his “NATO is braindead” criticism.

The French leader has been critical of the United States after it abruptly pulled troops out of northeastern Syria, allowing NATO member Turkey to launch an incursion against the Kurdish YPG militia fighting against the “Islamic State” group. The US and Turkey did not coordinate their moves with NATO members.

Nor were either required to, regardless of what anyone thinks of the moves themselves or the rudeness of the lack of advisement.  Syria has nothing to do with NATO, for all that it’s on the rear porch of Europe’s nations.  Coordination with NATO was, and is, not required.

Checks and Balances

Editors at The Wall Street Journal correctly decry a Federal district judge’s ruling that ex-White House counsel Don McGahn must testify before the House of Representatives in response to a House subpoena.  As the editors put it,

the sweeping ruling essentially eliminates a right to confidentiality between a President and his most senior advisers.

Thus:

A federal judge says White House aides must answer to Capitol Hill.

Not just any Federal judge: an Obama judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson.

The Jackson’s ruling, though, goes far beyond that.  The judge has asserted absolute supremacy of the Legislative over the Executive.

Golly Gee

Hold the presses.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany will honor its commitment to spend 2% of its GDP on NATO after all.

Oh, wait.  She says Germany will keep its word

by the early 2030s.

So far off, that amounts to a promise to be kept when the German government—whichever it is in all those years—feels like it.

Merkel’s “promise” is an insult to our intelligence.  Especially since Germany’s commitment, and those of its fellow NATO nations, was made five years ago and the nations promised to meet 2% by 2024.