Links for 2-28-2014

Links for 2-27-2014

Links for 2-26-2014

  • Senator Harry Reid says all those ObamaCare horror stories you’ve read and heard about are false. Allahpundit writes that this is “…another sign of a trend developing among top Democrats: The more time wears on, the more brazen and Orwellian the lies get.”

  • Former IRS official Lois Lerner won’t testify before the House Oversight Committee unless she receives immunity or a federal court order.

  • The Obama administration is using the lawsuits challenging the NSA’s collection of phone records as an excuse to store those phone records for an even longer time than they had before.

  • Senator David Vitter says that the EPA inspector general did such a poor job investigating the use of personal email accounts for official agency business that he actually provided cover for the violators. The inspector general’s office never actually examined any private email accounts – they just interviewed EPA officials about their use of such accounts and accepted their word.

  • Bill McMorris writes that conservatives would more readily ally themselves with libertarians if libertarians would stop advocating the use of government to enforce their point of view. This sounds contradictory, but McMorris justifiably points the finger at the Reason Foundation and the CATO Institute for maintaining double standards on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) – it’s OK to use RFRA to attack ObamaCare in court, but if believers use RFRA to shield themselves from being forced to violate their belief in other contexts, these libertarian outlets label them bigots.

  • Much of the money recently contributed to Wendy Davis’ campaign for Texas governor came from pro-abortion sources.

  • Candidate for Texas Lieutenant Governor Jerry Patterson has been collecting large donations from trial lawyers, which is unusual for a Texas Republican.

  • Russia staged an impromptu large-scale military exercise in its western territory, near Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia not to intervene militarily in Ukraine and said the U.S. would provide Ukraine with $1 billion in loan guarantees. Do you suppose Putin laughs out loud when Obama or Kerry says something like this, or does he just chuckle inwardly?

  • David Ernst wrote an interesting article on Vladimir Putin’s recent attempts to portray himself as a conservative and the implications for President Obama and European governments:

    For an American President who ostensibly represents idealism and progress, Russia’s shirtless, botoxed and gay bashing tyrant should be an easy target of denunciation. Obama and his modern liberal cousins in Brussels, however, remain tongue tied in the face of such a blatant challenge to the world order they represent. Putin has the uncanny ability to simultaneously appeal to their enemies on the right, and beat their supporters on the left at their own rhetorical game… Most disturbing of all, Putin’s successes demonstrate that he intuitively grasps the weaknesses inherent in modern liberalism itself. His objections to its shallowness, decadence, and materialism are especially potent, because they contain elements of truth.

  • The death toll in the latest Boko Haram attack in Nigeria rose to 59.

Links for 2-25-2014

Links for 2-24-2014

Links for 2-23-2014

  • Angelo Codevilla’s weekly column describes what happens when the ruling class flouts the law:

    The principal feature of today’s ruling class is precisely that it reigns in open contempt of the Constitution of 1787 and of their fellow Americans who wave copies of it in forlorn attempts to limit the ruling class’ pretensions. History is univocal: any ruling class self-referential to the point of defaulting on its obligations leaves the ruled no alternative but to turn their backs on it, and eventually to revolt.

    Later he refers to Alexis de Toqueville’s account of the French Revolution:

    Tocqueville’s history of the Old Regime’s decadence details how it overturned centuries of popular customs, imposed countless administrative burdens on the people, changed them constantly, and enforced them erratically. All the while, the Old Regime maintained a class of haughty beneficiaries bereft of real responsibilities. The regime lost respect, and became an object of fear. In this pervasive, intrusive, oppressive, unpredictable government of men, ordinary people found no shelter in custom or common sense, never mind rules. They were reduced to abasing themselves to the administrators, or to bribing them.

  • The New York Times published an article describing widespread immigration fraud among New York City’s Chinese community. So many applications for asylum filed by people in New York City are falsified that only 15% of those submitted are approved.

  • Flooding in the U.K. was exacerbated by government policies that value critters over humans.

  • Al Qaeda’s top representative in Syria, Abu Khalid al Suri, was killed in a suicide bomb attack. No one has claimed responsibility, but al Suri was at the center of conflicts among the factions fighting in Syria, so there’s no shortage of groups that wanted him dead.

Links for 2-22-2014