Clearing my spindle

When this site was redesigned, we added the Picks feature above so that we could note news as it was breaking, bring items of interest to the attention of readers about which we didn’t necessarily have anything to say, or take note of pieces that were otherwise worthy of your attention. The Picks feature has obviated the need I occasionally felt to post installments of this series that served the same purpose, but I have a few items I would like to draw to your attention this morning without having much of interest to say about them myself other than to say I believe they are worth pausing over.

Drew Hinshaw, “Liberan rubber farm a sanctuary against Ebola,” Wall Street Journal. This is just intensely interesting.

Sidney Powell, “Sex, lies, and White House Counsel,” New York Observer. Paul and I wrote a few times about the involvement of then White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler in the cover-up of the involvement of volunteer staffer Jonathan Dach in the Cartagena sex scandal. Powell sees how this already vanishing scandal illuminates the other magically disappearing Obama administration scandals. Powell’s column is the best thing I have read on the Cartagena connection and really worth a look if you haven’t read it.

Kimberly Strassel, “Yes Virginia, there is a Senate race,” Wall Street Journal (behind the Journal’s subscription paywall but accessible via Google here). Quotable quote:

Mr. Warner’s lack of Senate accomplishments has, oddly, given him a Teflon veneer. He was once a popular “moderate” Virginia governor, and many in the electorate retain that impression—largely because he’s done little in D.C. He’s also had an enormous dollar advantage: Democrats have outspent the Gillespie campaign 3 to 1 on TV ads, hammering the Republican for work he once did for Enron (a company that, notably, Mr. Warner was also invested in).

Yet this past week Mr. Warner’s image began to crumble. In June, Democratic state Sen. Phil Puckett abruptly resigned, throwing control to Republicans and derailing Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe ’s top priority, which is to expand Virginia’s Medicaid program. Within a week, federal investigators were probing whether Republicans had dangled a job for Mr. Puckett in return for his resignation.

That investigation is now producing quite different details. The Washington Post last week revealed it was Mr. Warner who called the Puckett family to discuss the possibility of a federal judgeship or corporate gig for Mr. Puckett’s daughter, as a means of getting him to stay in the Senate.

This revelation was made worse by news that Mr. Warner seems to have been acting for the McAuliffe administration. Mr. McAuliffe’s chief of staff had left his own message on Mr. Puckett’s phone: “If there’s something that we can do [for your daughter], I mean, you know, we have a couple of big agencies here that we still need agency heads,” ran the message. “So we would be very eager to accommodate her, if, if that would be helpful in keeping you in the Senate. We, we would basically do anything.”

Caroline Glick, “There should be no Palestinian state,” New York Times. The New York Times? With outside help, the Times blunders onto the truth.

Editors, “A rogue Venezuela on the UN Security Council highlights a powerless US,” Investor’s Business Daily. IBD elaborates on the “diplomatic humiliation” of the United States in the United Nations. There is a lot of it going around. I sense the hand of IBD’s Monica Showalter in this unsigned editorial. Please check it out.

Cliff Asness, “The inflation imputation,” RealClearMarkets, & Amity Shlaes, “The other bubble,” National Review Online. In the matter of Paul Krugman, and Fed policy.

Tom Joscelyn, “What happened to the ‘sensitive information’ stolen in Benghazi?,” Weekly Standard. I wouldn’t be able to squeeze the headline into Picks.

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