Time for my weekly Current Events Write-Up!
Surveillance of Trump’s Campaign?
Transcript: ABC This Week for March 4, 2017.
ABC This Week last Sunday, of course, was focusing on Donald
Trump’s claim that Barack Obama in 2016 wiretapped Trump’s campaign.
After enduring the propagandists for and against Trump, I was pleased to
listen to Michael Mukasey, who served as President George W. Bush’s
Attorney General. Martha Raddatz, who interviewed him, said that
Mukasay brought some clarity to the issue. Mukasey stated:
“I think the president was not correct certainly in saying that
President Obama ordered a tap on a server in Trump Tower. However, I
think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was
conducted at the behest of the attorney — of the Justice Department
through the FISA court…I base that on news reports that you mentioned in
the last spot. I also base it on kind of inadvertent blurting out by
Adam Schiff that his committee wants to talk to the counterintelligence
agents at the FBI who were involved in this. Now, what that means is
this is part not of a criminal investigation, but of an intelligence
gathering investigation…They tried to get — apparently tried to get a
wiretap based on their criminal investigation function in June. That was
turned down. They then tried to get, and got, an order permitting them
to conduct electronic surveillance in October. This is October of
2016…It means there were some basis to believe that somebody in Trump
Tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians, for whatever
purpose, not necessarily the election, but for some purpose. And the
FBI keeps track of people who act as agents of foreign governments. They
keep track of people who act as agents of the Chinese, the Russians,
the Israelis, everybody.”
Mukasey also disputed that the Russians wanted to get Trump elected,
arguing that they had an another agenda in orchestrating the leaks
“The only crime I that have heard about or seen of that was committed
was committed by the Russians when they hacked the DNC. They hacked
John Podesta, and they tried to hack the Republican National Committee.
That’s the only crime that I’m aware of. Now, the question is of course
is why was it committed? Some people say it was committed to promote
the election of Donald Trump. I happen to think that is ridiculous.
Because at the time that it had happened, Donald Trump looked like a
sure loser. And you’d have to believe that Vladimir Putin was an idiot
trying to back a sure loser. I think much more likely he was trying to
intimidate a sure winner, Secretary Clinton.”
Can Politicians Save the Welfare State by Urging or Even Subsidizing More Baby Making?, by Daniel Mitchell.
Libertarian economist Daniel Mitchell talks about how the welfare
state in Europe may become unsustainable, since not enough babies are
being born to support it when they become adults. He doubts that
government efforts there to encourage women to have babies will solve
The Myth of the Fiscal Conservative: Austerity measures don’t actually
save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments
pursue them in the first place, by Amir Fleischmann.
Fleischmann makes the case that “Supporting social programs reduces government spending in the long run.”
CNN Money: Republicans’ Obamacare replacement bill: The winners and losers, by Tami Luhby.
This article breaks things down pretty clearly.
Reason: The one number that shows why any health care effort will fail.
I didn’t read the entire article, but the status explains why
Obamacare has problems, and why the Ryan plan, if implemented, will have
problems. And people in the comments section tell their own horror
stories about the American health care system.
Townhall: The Bizarre Regulatory Idolatry of the Patent Lobby, by Mytheos Holt.
I am pleased that conservative voices are challenging the high prices
of big pharma, and the government policies that perpetuate them.
MeTV: R.I.P. Film Historian Robert Osborne.
I only watched Turner Classic Movies occasionally, but I always liked
Robert Osborne’s humble, low-key, and yet interesting introductions and
conclusions to movies.
Miracles and modern skepticism
7 hours ago