Links for 4-17-2015

  • Yemen’s government collapsed so quickly that 3,000 to 4,000 Americans were trapped in the country and the Obama administration isn’t planning to rescue them. I’m sure this sort of thing won’t happen once President Hillary Clinton takes office. (Doh!)

  • Iran is sending a convoy of ships carrying weapons to Yemen in an apparent attempt to resupply the Houthi rebels. It’s not clear if the U.S. Navy, Saudi Arabia, or Saudi Arabia’s allies will attempt to interdict the ships.

  • A car bomb attack on the American consulate in Erbil, Iraq killed three people and wounded 14; no Americans were injured. ISIS claimed responsibility.

  • ISIS is touting its use of child soldiers in attacks on Iraq’s Baiji oil refinery. One ISIS video shows two children firing what appears to be an American howitzer.

  • Jeb Bush thinks the Senate should confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General.

  • William Voegeli wrote an excellent essay on reconciling reform conservatism with free market, small government conservatism:

    And if recasting the conservative critique of liberalism in technocratic terms does indeed prove deflating, it’s not clear that the resulting loss of votes and vigor will be offset by the number of new constituents attracted by the reform conservatism agenda. It’s one thing to call on conservative activists to develop policy expertise, another to expect voters to turn in this homework assignment. Will a significant number of voters—or even a small number of voters—otherwise skeptical about conservatism, become part of a new conservative majority owing to the attractiveness of deftly crafted policy proposals?

    Maybe. But it sounds like reform conservatives are going to try to win by playing a game liberals invented, according to rules liberals have written, on liberals’ home field. If conservatism stops asking whether government has the duty and legitimate authority to address every need or concern, and confines itself to debating how government should do so, voters are going to need to be profoundly impressed with conservatives’ proposals for conservatism to end up being more popular than it is now. This may be asking a lot, not merely of voters’ attention spans but of their willingness to reject the party that endorses government intervention clearly and unreservedly in favor of the one that offers subtle arguments about the best modes of government intervention.

  • A Tibetan father of seven, Dhamkar, self-immolated in Ngaba.