Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Quick takes

• I can't help thinking that if the Inspector General investigated ten random FISA applications, he'd probably find the number of problems he found in the Carter Page application is about average.  The problem is that the FISA court is secret, so FBI agents can cut corners without much chance of getting caught.  Most of the fruits of FISA warrants remain secret, even after they're executed; and secrecy always invites abuse.

• The impeachment proceeding is just the latest manifestation of an epistemological crisis: apparently, Pat Moynihan was wrong, and you can have your own facts.  For godfather of the current crisis, I nominate Rupert Murdoch, who brought the spirit of British tabloid journalism to American television.  It's hard to stay involved in the ongoing "drama" in Congress when everybody's already guessed the ending.

• I'm curious to see how the Liberal Democrats fare in tomorrow's British election, with their straightforward, unequivocal support for remaining in the EU.  It wasn't that long ago that the LibDems propped up a Conservative minority government.  Might they do the same for Labour?

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