Links for 9-30-2015

Links for 9-29-2015

  • Mollie Hemingway wrote a guide to the Planned Parenthood videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, which is especially helpful since Planned Parenthood, the media, and the Democrats deny the videos exist.
  • Hillary Clinton supports abortion up to the moment of natural birth.
  • Sidney Blumenthal ran a private intelligence gathering operation for Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State, and one of Blumenthal’s operatives was a former CIA officer named Tyler Drumheller. Drumheller was working for Clinton/Blumenthal at the same time he was working as a consultant to CBS News – where he reportedly helped shape CBS’s Benghazi coverage. It’s Potemkin villages, all the way down.
  • Victor Davis Hanson explains President Obama’s philosophy of redistribution applied to foreign policy:

    Obama sees the rest of the world as he does the United States — and thus in need of a redistribution in power that will bring greater fairness to the planet. Accordingly, under current U.S. foreign policy, the desire for supposed equality trumps most considerations of human rights, values, consensual government, and our own national interest.

    He concludes with this:

    In sum, U.S. foreign policy has become something like Obamacare, immigration law, or the deficit. Obama stirs things up, speaks truth to power, champions the dispossessed, seems bewildered at the ensuing mess, then gradually disconnects from the growing chaos, but seems smug nonetheless over the fact that something — what exactly he doesn’t know or care — is at last in play. Forward we go to the next injustice, ripe for chaos and thus hope and change.

  • Rand Paul attacked Ted Cruz’s confrontational tactics in the U.S. Senate, saying that he has a different approach – like endorsing Mitch McConnell for re-election and using his personal relationship with McConnell to accomplish…absolutely nothing. Good to know.
  • Richard Epstein examines Pope Francis’ statements on violence, the environment, and markets:

    President Obama’s lack of resolve has neutralized American military superiority, encouraged Putin to back the tyrant Assad in Syria, and let the Islamic State wreak havoc. Constant bromides about the need for “cooperating generously for the common good” is a recipe for standing passively to one side as a worldwide disaster plays out. The Pope’s musings, like Obama’s, mask a weak form of moral relativism that encourages the enemies of human liberty and human dignity and abandons its friends.

  • Mark Steyn wrote a firsthand account of how Middle Eastern refugees/migrants arrive in Sweden.
  • The U.S. has been shipping Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) to the Kurds without their side armor installed, leaving them vulnerable to RPGs. The Obama administration is apparently concerned that the (presumably sophisticated) side armor could end up in Iranian hands, so they’re leaving it off. Unfortunately ISIS has acquired RPGs from Syrian armories that can easily destroy MRAPs lacking side armor.

Links for 9-28-2015

  • Ben Domenech writes that John Boehner quit because he was going to be fired:

    Let’s be clear about one thing: John Boehner quit because he was going to get fired. It’s all fine and dandy to describe the Speaker as an “institutionalist” – a word we have not heard so frequently used since the Beltwaysplaining of Chief John Roberts – but if Boehner is, he was an institutionalist about to be rejected by the institution (or by the slimmest of chances, sustained as Speaker only by the good graces of the opposing party). Under Boehner’s leadership, the institutional standing of the Republican Congress has crumbled to record lows. He departs as the least popular Speaker in three decades. The idea that this approach was one designed to appeal to some higher purpose is simply laughable. One does not fall on a sword when your head is already in the guillotine.

    Mitch McConnell is worse than Boehner:

    So whose fault is it that Boehner is out? The obvious culprits are the meddlesome Tea Party or the pro-lifers or those members actually pushing the motion to vacate. There is a more subtle case to be made that it’s the weak sisters in the Republican conference who, even on an issue as core to the party’s existence as life, remained dead-set against using the Constitutional power of the purse to eliminate a few hundred million in taxpayer funding for an organization engaged in profiting from death. But the person to blame for Boehner stepping down ought to be absolutely clear – the actual target of far more conservative frustration than John Boehner: Mitch McConnell.

    Later:

    To understand the missed opportunity here, consider what could have happened if McConnell was not so dedicated to keeping the Senate “open for business” and working with the president on other priorities. Imagine instead what would have happened if McConnell saw the opportunity to break Reid and isolate the president on spending. He could have canceled all other Senate business, canceled the recesses, and forced the Democrats to block the Defense appropriations bill every 72 hours until September 30th. No weekends off, no holidays, keeping 75 year old men up all night for days, allowing no personal comforts until the filibuster is broken. In stark comparison to the media’s willingness to hide the ball on Planned Parenthood, Republicans would have been gifted with three months of messaging on “Democrats are so angry at the American people for taking away their majority, they are refusing to pay the troops.”

  • Bill Hemmer of Fox News pressed Rand Paul about his support for Mitch McConnell as majority leader:

    After host Bill Hemmer followed up on whether he supports McConnell, Rand answered, “There isn’t really a battle or an election going on, or any other choices. There aren’t. There is no other choice for leader.”

    Hemmer then asked, “So you are behind him for now unless someone else emerges?” Rand responded, “Well, there is no election. There is no battle going on. What I support is the position that we should take the power of the purse, and we should actually use it. So, I will oppose Senator McConnell when he brings forward the continuing resolution. But it isn’t about opposing a person. It’s about a position, and it’s about us using the power of the purse.”

    In 2013 Rand Paul endorsed Mitch McConnell for re-election. Who’s the moron here?

  • The U.S. Senate passed a continuing resolution that funds the federal government through December 11. Ted Cruz offered an amendment to the continuing resolution that defunded Planned Parenthood, but no Republicans in the chamber offered to second his motion to amend. The Republicans in the chamber at the time included Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, so you know where they stand.

  • Retired U.S. Army Colonel Kurt Schlichter explains why the U.S. military looks the other way as Afghans rape children:

    The revelation that our generals expect Americans solders to allow screaming young boys to be sodomized and not stop it is simply the latest manifestation of the utter moral bankruptcy infecting the senior ranks of the U.S. military.

    The problems with America’s military—which has now failed to win three wars in a row against backward fanatics whom the nineteenth-century Brits would have handily dispatched to hell in time for tea—are not merely budgetary. You can’t buy real leaders, leaders with strategic competence and moral courage. Aging equipment, while a problem, is nothing compared to the incompetence and moral cowardice of our military’s senior leaders.

    Later:

    Without a doubt, the commander in Afghanistan could evaluate the situation, determine that we are not going to tolerate the rape of children, and instruct our troops to fire two warning shots into the sternum of anyone found doing so. In fact, in the spirit of decentralization that is the mark of a winning military, the commander could further emphasize that he is not putting a ceiling on the number of shots that could be fired—if the soldier on the ground thinks he needs to fire more rounds into the sternum of the pederast, that’s just good combat leader initiative.

    Sure, this may temporarily make some of our allies less willing to support us, but it is the morally right thing to do and, in the long run, it would send a powerful message that locals need to start appreciating the cultural norms of the people who traveled halfway around the world to save their sorry excuse for a country.

  • Shell drilled a duster in the Chukchi Sea and won’t be back for the foreseeable future. Shell will take a third quarter write-down on its Alaska operations.

  • Russia conducted another test of a ground-launched cruise missile that violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

  • The Taliban breached the defenses of the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. They appear to have gained control over most – if not all – of the city.

Links for 9-27-2015

Links for 9-26-2015

  • Andrew McCarthy takes Charles Krauthammer to task for criticizing Dr. Ben Carson’s observations about the incompatibility between sharia and the Constitution.

    The presidency is also unique because it is the only office for which the Constitution prescribes an oath. The president must swear to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Given that a mainstream interpretation of Islam requires Muslims to follow sharia, and that classical sharia is antithetical to our Constitution, there is no moral outrage in recognizing the dilemma the oath could pose for a devout Muslim.

    There is wisdom, not shame, in concluding that we’d rather not have to worry about the potentially divided loyalties of a Muslim president, just as the Constitution relieves us of worry over the potentially divided loyalties of a foreign-born president.

  • The Department of Defense confirmed that American-trained rebels who recently entered Syria turned over 25% of their equipment to the Al Nusrah Front, supposedly in exchange for safe passage through Al Nusrah-controlled territory. A CENTCOM spokesperson said, “If accurate, the report of NSF members providing equipment to Al Nusrah Front is very concerning and a violation of Syria train and equip program guidelines.” They’re in trouble now — they violated program guidelines.

  • Birth tourism is still a big business in the San Francisco area despite a supposed crackdown by the Department of Homeland Security.

  • The number of people killed in the Haj pilgrimage stampede rose to 769. The number of people injured rose to 934.

  • Russia and Estonia swapped two prisoners. The Russians returned Eston Kohver to Estonia — he’s the security officer who was kidnapped and taken across the border to Russia. Later the Russians convicted him of espionage and sentenced him to 15 years.

Links for 9-25-2015

Links for 9-24-2015