Obama Has Threatened Russia

Or so he says, while continuing his partisan and petty attacks on his opponents.

The US will “take action” against Russia for alleged cyberattacks on Democratic officials, President Obama warned Thursday, hours after his spokesman claimed that President-elect Donald Trump “obviously knew” about the breaches and leaks that critics say propelled him to victory in last month’s election.

President Barack Obama’s (D) tough talk about retaliatory action against Russia comes against the backdrop of his Vice President Joe Biden’s threat to retaliate against Russia for its cyber invasions and his own threat of retaliation regarding Syrian use of chemical weapons.

A Thought

…from my wife, especially appropriate in these times of threats to our nation from without and from within.

A State Court and the Citizens of the State

In last month’s elections, one of the ballot items was a South Dakota measure (apologies: the Argus Leader has a really intrusive set of popup ads) to limit

how much PACs, political parties, and individuals can give to candidates.

The measure passed by a slim 51%-49% margin, but nevertheless, the passage is by the voice of the citizens of that State.  The article at the link gives a summary of those limits.

Now a South Dakota judge has issued an injunction against implementing or enforcing that law.  Circuit Judge Mark Barnett, in issuing the injunction, acknowledged that the matter likely will end up before the South Dakota Supreme Court, and he said

One China and One China

Here’s the People’s Republic of China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, still on about the Republic of China’s President, Tsai Ing-wen’s congratulatory telecon with President-Elect Donald Trump:

We urge the new US leader and government to fully understand the seriousness of the Taiwan issue, and to continue to stick to the one-China policy[.]

He went on to say that US-PRC relations would be “badly affected” were such behaviors to continue.

Indeed we do fully understand the seriousness of the Taiwan issue and the seriousness of the status of the RoC, which sits on that island.  It’s about time our administration gained that understanding, too, and began moving away from the…foolishness…of the last 45 years.

Freedom’s Just Another Word

…as far as the PRC is concerned.

The good citizens of Hong Kong had elections for their representatives in the city-state’s Legislative Council, and two folks who participated in protests two years ago against PRC intrusion into Hong Kong government affairs were elected.

Never mind the voice of the people.  They have none wherever the PRC can reach.

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress said people elected to the city’s legislature cannot retake their oaths of office if their first attempt was invalidated for being insincere, not solemn, or deliberately misread.

Mao-ist China Returns?

People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping has been consolidating his power and centralizing control of the PRC in his hands for a while.

Now he’s seizing more direct control of the nation’s economy.  Xi has removed Lou Jiwei, the PRC Minister of Finance from office.  Lou was “reform-minded” (read: more open and freely operating domestic markets with a more rational tax régime), but that conflicted with Xi’s demand for more government control over those same domestic markets.  Xi has reassigned Lou to run the nation’s pension fund.  The fund is in a disastrous condition; this is simply a move to set Lou up for failure and removal from government altogether.

Right on the Law

Great Britain’s High Court has ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May may not and can not trigger, on her own initiative, Article 50 and begin negotiations with the European Union about the mechanisms and details of Great Britain’s going out from the EU.  The Parliament must first vote in favor of invoking the Article.

A Couple of Litmus Tests

The two major party Presidential candidates have them.  All Presidents and candidates who wish to nominate Supreme Court Justices have them; some are more or less legitimate than others.

Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s wants:

The kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans[.]

Read that again.  Clinton wants Justices who put social agendas ahead of the actual law before them, ahead of the text of the Constitution, ahead of the Justices’ own oaths of office, which swear them to uphold and defend the Constitution, not ignore it, or “reinterpret” it.

What’s the Chinese Term for Aппара́тчик?

Law firms in the People’s Republic of China are about to get them.  In addition to two new Rule by Law directives that prohibit PRC lawyers from criticizing the government on the one hand and that require PRC lawyers to overtly support the Chinese Communist Party on the other, these law firms are required to accept into their organizations

establishment[s] of Communist Party branches[.]

To ensure proper behavior.

Cowed by the PRC?

Canberra confirmed last week that the Australian Navy won’t conduct freedom-of-navigation patrols in the international waters of the South China Sea, giving China’s bid to dominate the strategic area a boost.

And

An international tribunal ruled in July that China’s bid to claim most of the sea violates international law. But the verdict will be rendered moot unless law-abiding states are willing to push back. That would give Beijing effective control over the 60% of Australian trade that transits the sea.