Distractions

Congressman Adam Schiff (D, CA), Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, wants them.  He’s so anxious to have them that he’s insisting that Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R, CA) to stop being Chairman.

Mr Nunes should step aside from any congressional investigation pertaining to Russia or to the “incidental” collection of intelligence information, like what Mr Nunes said occurred to Mr Trump’s transition team.

Mr Schiff said in a statement it was “not a recommendation I make lightly…. I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman.”

Satisfaction

No, this isn’t a Rolling Stones reference.  It’s a reference to Kevin Williamson’s opening line in his National Review piece, On the Outside, Looking Out.

This is the great paradox of our time: in 2017, it has never been easier for us to satisfy our wants, but we seldom have been more dissatisfied.

Indeed.  Perhaps because our wants being so easily satisfied, there’s no satisfaction in their satisfaction.

Perhaps because our wants being so easily satisfied, so many of them are so trivial.

Perhaps both.

Perhaps it’s time to refocus on what’s truly important.

A Plan for Rigorous Enforcement

Mark Dubowitz, Chief Eecutive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies,  writing in The Wall Street Journal, had some thoughts regarding strict enforcement of the Iran nuclear weapons agreement and some thoughts on an alternative path for dealing with Iran and its nuclear weapons.  I’m focusing on the latter.

First, Mr Trump must address the Iranian threat the way Ronald Reagan treated the Soviet one. … The Trump NSC needs a similar plan, one that uses both covert and overt economic, financial, political, diplomatic, cyber, and military power to subvert and roll back the Iranian threat.

Now It’s Overt

The Left has, for quite a number of years, quietly harbored contempt for those who disagree with them, believing those on the center-right and points further to be stupid, narrow, and venal, constantly voting as those unfortunates do, against their self-interest (which is to so not voting for those things the Left deems appropriate).

It’s no longer quiet or sub rosa.

This mad-as-hell view has been galvanized by reports that many Trump voters may lose their health insurance if the House version of ObamaCare repeal passes. The liberal gloaters say it serves them right.

Inadvertent Tapping and Leaks

As House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R, CA) revealed the other day enroute to the White House, intelligence community personnel, in the course of surveilling the communications and other activities of foreign nationals (vis., Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak), also surveilled incidentally members of then-President-Elect Donald Trump’s campaign and transition teams, and perhaps Trump himself.  Wire tapping, indeed, if loosely and metaphorically.

Of larger import, though, is this, also from Nunes.

…the intelligence “ended up in reporting channels and was widely disseminated.”

It was previously reported that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was “unmasked” in this way; however, Nunes said “additional names” were unmasked as well.

Another Assault on US Intellectual Property

Beijing has proposed requiring cloud-computing services providers to turn over essentially all ownership and operations to Chinese partners and could result in the transfer of valuable US intellectual property, according to the letter, viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Not “could result”—technology theft transfer is the point of the requirement.  This comes against the backdrop of the People’s Republic of China’s ongoing technology requirements.

China already places restrictions on investing for foreign cloud providers operating in the country under rules passed in the last two years…including forced collaboration with rivals and technology transfer.

Is the PRC market really worth these losses?

House Freedom Caucus of No

Yesterday, the membership of the House Freedom Caucus of No forced the American Health Care Act, the first stage of a three-stage Obamacare repeal and replace program offered by the majority of the House Republican Conference, to be withdrawn from the day’s backup vote (recall that these No-ers already had forced a delay from Thursday’s vote over their demand to have their way or there could be no Act), and so there will be no AHCA.

Delays

The House Republicans were forced to cancel yesterday’s scheduled American Health Care Act vote.  The Freedom Caucus, the Caucus of No, couldn’t be satisfied.  Congressmen like Jim Jordan (R, OH) and Caucus of No Chairman Mark Meadows (R, NC) refused late compromises, all the while insisting by implication from their refusals that constituents of other Congressmen, for instance Tom Cole (R, OK), worked for them and not that Cole worked for his Oklahoma constituents—and that those Oklahoma constituents might have different imperatives than those Congressmen of the Caucus.  So, no compromise from the No-ers.

The PRC’s Economic Opening

The People’s Republic of China is wining and dining major American companies, trying to convince them that the time is ripe for investing in the PRC.

Apple Inc’s Tim Cook and Jon McNeill of Tesla Motors were among dozens of western executives who spent a long and unseasonably warm weekend here strolling the grounds where Mao Zedong once lived, surrounded by blooming magnolia trees and gliding swans.

Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli:

China will push for a higher level of economic opening-up[.]

And Jake Parker, vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council

Pre-judging

Democrats want Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch to prejudge case that might come before him as a litmus test of his fitness to sit on the Court—i.e., his willingness to subordinate himself and the Supreme Court—the pinnacle of a coequal branch of our Federal Government—to the Progressive-Democratic subset of Congress.

Democrats…want [Gorsuch] to declare how he would rule in specific areas of the law—questions that every Supreme Court nominee declines to answer.

Vermont Senator Pat Leahy said last week he would “insist on real answers from Judge Gorsuch.”

And