Links for 12-21-2014

  • Angelo Codevilla compares the Republican Congressional leadership to Jonathan Gruber:

    In the 2014 elections the Republican leadership acted identically, trusting in the voters’ suspension of disbelief in its promises to change the U.S. government’s substance and manner of operation. They promised to defund Obamacare and to use Congress’s total power of the purse to reverse a host of the Obama administration’s illegalities. Once the votes were in the bag, most Republican members embraced the reality that their leaders had been preparing all along: the continuation of business as usual, with a few self-interested tweaks.

  • The number of immigrants deported from the U.S. fell again in fiscal year 2014. The 2014 total was 315,000, down from 360,000 in 2013 and 410,000 in 2012.

  • A man ran into a police station in Joue-les-Tours, France, shouted “Allahu Akbar,” and stabbed three policemen. He was shot dead and the policemen are recovering. Someone else shouting “Allahu Akbar” drove his car into groups of pedestrians in Dijon, France, injuring 11 people.

  • ISIS has executed 100 foreign volunteers who tried to leave Raqqa, Syria.

Links for 12-20-2014

Links for 12-19-2014

Links for 12-18-2014

Links for 12-17-2014

Links for 12-16-2014

Links for 12-15-2014

  • Senate Republicans like Jeff Flake and Susan Collins are complaining that the tactics recently employed by Ted Cruz and Mike Lee enabled Harry Reid to press forward with votes on President Obama’s more controversial nominees. Many of these Republicans have a history of voting for President Obama’s liberal nominees anyway, so it’s not clear why they have a problem voting for them now — it’s not as if Harry Reid was going to surrender his position as Senate majority leader without bringing these nominations up for a vote. Mark Levin opened his radio show with a blistering attack on these Senate Republicans that’s worth listening to.

  • The Herald Sun published an account of what happened in the Lindt cafe in Sydney. The hostage taker, Man Haron Monis, and two of his hostages, Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson, died. When Monis started to fall asleep, Johnson (the cafe’s manager) rushed him and tried to take away his sawed-off shotgun, which prompted the police to storm the cafe with guns and flash grenades.

  • Stella Morabito wrote an article on how conservatives and liberals perceive The Hunger Games: “Conservatives clearly see an indictment of centralized power in the story of The Hunger Games. After all, the U.S. Constitution is based on the premise that unchecked power, no matter which side has it, is a recipe for corruption and tyranny. The Bill of Rights is meant to protect individuals against that… Occupy Wall Streeters and liberals see The Hunger Games only as a condemnation of economic inequality and social injustice: poverty, pollution, police brutality. Ironically, they tend to see the solution in precisely the place where conservatives see the problem: big, left-wing government.” The author of The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, contributed the maximum amount allowed by law to President Obama’s re-election campaign.

  • Angelo Codevilla worked as a staffer for the Senate Intelligence Committee for eight years, and Dianne Feinstein’s report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” is familiar territory: “The Senate, or the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, or clamorous events, call attention to a problem. The CIA runs to its friends in Congress and in the press with the story that the agency is secretly saving lives even as we speak, so it cannot tell the full extent of its noble work. Then, those who are privy to the details come up with reports that no one reads but that become partisan and ideological footballs.” Later: “The Central Intelligence Agency behaves as does any other self-interested bureaucracy — except that secrecy abets its efforts to protect and/or aggrandize itself. Pity that, unbeknownst to publicists and public, its reputation for competence is about the only thing about which the CIA really cares.”

  • The Federal Election Commission (FEC) turned aside a bizarre attempt to classify delegates to an Article V convention as federal officeholders, which would have enabled the federal government to control the delegates via FEC regulations.

  • The National Institutes of Health spent $1.3 billion on a study that followed 100,000 children from birth to adolescence, only to abandon it.

  • There’s evidence that Enterovirus D–68 is linked to an outbreak of a polio-like illness that the Centers for Disease Control is calling acute flaccid myelitis.

  • The Bosnian woman who said she was dragged from her car in South St. Louis and beaten up has been charged with filing a false police report.

  • Israel discovered another offshore natural gas field. The field is 90 miles off Israel’s coast and is estimated to contain 3.2 trillion cubic feet of gas.

  • Denmark claims that the structure of the continental shelf extending north from Greenland entitles it to 900,000 square kilometers of the Arctic Ocean. Their claimed area overlaps a portion of the area claimed by Norway.

  • A labor strike in Belgium all but shut down the country. Prime Minister Charles Michel’s government took office in October and announced plans to cut the government’s budget by $13.7 billion over five years, which prompted strikes and protests.

  • The Guardian interviewed a senior ISIS official who recounted the story of how ISIS started in American prisons in Iraq.