Links for 5-26-2015

  • The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction that prevents the Department of Homeland Security from implementing President Obama’s latest amnesty by memo. The court won’t hear the appeal of the case brought by Texas and 25 other states until July. The Obama administration reacted by attacking the judges.

  • The Clintons operate a shell company to handle Bill Clinton’s non-speaking income, which (conveniently) means they don’t have to disclose that income or its sources.

  • Countries that contributed to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State saw the State Department approve significantly larger weapons purchases than countries that did not contribute to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton supporters are spinning this by saying the volume of approved weapons purchases in general increased during President Obama’s first term.

  • President Obama delivered a Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery where he congratulated himself on achieving the first Memorial Day in 14 years where the U.S. is not engaged in a major ground war. Robert Tracinski finds this odd:

    But whatever this administration’s role, it is disturbing to see the president touting the peace that we are supposedly enjoying after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have “come to an end.” That’s an appropriately passive expression, since President Obama can’t say that we’ve won those wars, only that they have “come to an end”—and only for us. I should also add: and only for now.

    It’s one thing to celebrate the end of fighting when the war has been won on terms that secure a lasting peace. In that case, you are paying tribute to what our troops achieved when they risked their lives to protect us. But to applaud the fact that our men and women are out of the fight and standing on the sidelines, while the war is still raging and we’ve lost most of the strategic gains that they won, seems to imply that their deaths were unnecessary after all. They gave their lives for a strategic goal the current administration finds so unimportant that it’s not willing to take decisive action to defend it.

  • Kevin Williamson questions the price we’d be willing to pay to defeat ISIS:

    Conservatives charge that President George W. Bush had effectively won the war in Iraq and that President Barack Obama subsequently lost it. This is more or less true, but some of my more hawkish friends omit the key fact: Barack Obama was elected for the express purpose of surrendering such gains as we had made in Iraq, the American people having judged the price of securing them too high. The electorate in 2008 was war-weary and, embarrassing as it is to admit, craven, and not only on the matter of our military campaigns. The electorate has come to take the Lyndon Johnson–Hermann Göring “guns vs. butter” rhetoric literally (n.b., Mr. Vice President!), as if through some transmutational property of politics we could convert the matériel invested in the long war with Islamic supremacists into subsidies for foodstuffs or, better yet, for health-insurance premiums. Senator Obama argued precisely that, and subsequent evidence suggests that he just may be daft enough to believe it.

  • Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, and Mia Love have are supporting a bill to create a “unit record” system that would collect information about every student who enrolls in college, ostensibly to report on the outcomes achieved by people who selected a particular major. Joy Pullmann suggests that the details of the proposed system look more like federal surveillance:

    The text of the bill indicates that the U.S. Education Secretary can tap whatever agencies he wants to mix and match this data. Smooth—if one is all aboard with letting unelected bureaucrats control what information the feds collect about American citizens who, remember, are supposed to boss government, not get bossed by it. Previous iterations of unit-record proposals have included these agencies and databases: federal student loans; the federal college student registry (IPEDS, in which all full-time students who attend colleges that accept federal funds are already tracked); K–12 data systems the Obama administration has paid every state to expand and link other non-education state and federal agencies, including social services, employment, health, and criminal justice; and income monitoring agencies such as the Social Security Administration and U.S. Department of Labor.


    The bottom line is that a unit-record system is an unacceptable trade of crucial liberties for a convenience that is available through entirely non-coercive means. There is no justification for enabling federal administrators to create comprehensive dossiers on American citizens detailing our entire education, social, and economic history (down to that first-quarter history quiz grade in fifth grade and records of our ability to pee properly in preschool). It’s just none of their damn business. Ever.

  • Hackers broke into IRS computers and stole information on more than 100,000 taxpayers. Don’t worry, I’m sure your medical information is safe with the IRS.

  • Maryland’s free range parents won their first appeal to Child Protective Services. There’s a second incident still pending.

  • Japanese soldiers will participate in a biennial U.S./Australia military exercise, which is a first. The Japanese soldiers will be embedded with American forces. The Australian contingent will include soldiers from New Zealand.

  • The New York Times published an editorial criticizing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for cracking down on the media ahead of a parliamentary election. Erdogan responded by claiming the Times was “overstepping the limits of freedom.”

  • The Russians have been using mobile crematoriums to conceal the number of their soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine.