Links for 2-23-2015

  • The Department of Justice appealed the district court injunction against President Obama’s amnesty by memo. In addition to the appeal filed with the Fifth Circuit, the DOJ asked the district court judge, Andrew Hanen, to stay his injunction while the appeal is considered. The logic behind the request to stay the injunction is completely disconnected from reality:

    The memorandum also contains two odd affidavits, one from Sarah Saldana, the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and one from Gil Kerlikowske, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, that show what a Twilight Zone Obama’s top political appointees live in.

    Saldana bizarrely asserts that the order preventing the deferred action program from being implemented “interferes with the Federal Government’s comprehensive strategy for enforcing our immigration laws.” But as we all know, Obama’s “comprehensive strategy” is the exact opposite of “enforcing our immigration laws.” Judge Hanen agreed with the claims of the states in this case that “the Government has abandoned its duty to enforce the law. This assertion cannot be disputed.”

    Kerlikowske’s affidavit is also at odds with reality, given that he claims the injunction will impair the border patrol’s “ability to ensure that its limited enforcement resources are spent in the most effective and efficient way to safeguard national security, border security and public safety.” But Hanen pointed out that Kerlikowske’s agency has already entirely failed to secure the border, a failure that has “exacerbated illegal immigration into this country. In fact, it is information about the benefits of the president’s amnesty program that is leading to even more illegal immigrants being ”encouraged to come to the United States."

  • Eli Lake argues that the American military and the Iraqi government are setting themselves up to repeat past mistakes as they plan to retake Mosul from ISIS:

    So the situation is this: U.S. military leaders are openly talking about an imminent offensive on a city of more than a million residents who are widely distrustful of the Baghdad government; it’s unclear whether the projected front-line troops for the invasion are up to the task; there seems to be no comprehensive plan for what happens after the fighting stops. It’s enough to make one think the uncertainty over the time table isn’t the worst thing, if indeed a delay might help clarify some of these issues.

  • Kathryn Jean Lopez interviewed the author of a book on Coptic Christians, Samuel Tadros:

    LOPEZ: What can we learn from the witness of the Copts in Egypt — and these 21 who were murdered?

    TADROS: The last words from the mouths of the martyrs were “Jesus Christ.” We often read stories about early martyrs of the Church. We produce movies depicting their stories and lives, but nothing can capture it like the scene of men dying for their faith in their Savior and Redeemer. Sometimes we think of martyrs as being above human, as legendary figures who lived extraordinary lives, but these men were ordinary. They were men who lived normal lives, poor men who traveled to Libya to feed their families. Yet at the critical moment, they did not deny their Savior or run away from him. Pushed on their knees to be killed, they stood taller than their murderers. They stood tall for the whole world to watch what Christianity is all about.

  • A Manhattan jury found the Palestinian Authority and the PLO liable for supporting six terrorist attacks in Israel that killed 33 people and injured more than 450. The plaintiffs won $655.5 million in damages, which they plan to collect by seizing the Palestinian groups’ assets. The groups say they’ll appeal.

  • The Center for Immigration Studies revised upward its estimate of the number of “shadow” work permits the Obama administration has issued above and beyond what’s authorized by law. The approval rate for these work permits is off the charts – for example, 90% of illegal border crossers who applied were approved.

  • Secretary of State John Kerry appointed the first American “special envoy for the human rights of LGBT persons,” Randy Berry. Berry is currently consul general at the U.S. embassy in the Netherlands.

  • Russian media admitted that regular Russian troops, not “pro-Russian separatists,” defeated the Ukrainian army in Debaltseve. I’m starting to read more references to these camouflaged troops and proxies as “little green men.”

  • Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind were caught in an influence peddling sting in the U.K. After the next election, Straw will be taking a job with one of the companies on whose behalf he lobbied.