Links for 9-2-2015

  • Five Chinese navy ships appeared in the Bering Sea, a first. This happened while President Obama was visiting Alaska, where he was busy staring down a glacier (according to the Associated Press) and practicing with his selfie stick:
    Obama Alaska Selfie Stick
    (via Mashable)

  • The House Select Committee on Benghazi subpoenaed Bryan Pagliano, the person who initially set up Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Pagliano plans to take the Fifth.

  • Retiring Democrat Senator Barbara Mikulski said she’ll be the 34th vote to support President Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal, which means Obama has enough votes to prevent the Senate from overriding a veto of a bill rejecting the deal; he has nearly enough votes to filibuster such a bill. Perhaps the Department of Defense or the intelligence agencies will code name the first Iranian nuclear ICBM the “Mikulski.”

  • The Obama administration gave more than $1 million in ObamaCare grants to Planned Parenthood.

  • China’s hacking of the Office of Personnel Management has cost $350 million just to notify people their information has been compromised and to offer them identity protection services.

  • The Department of Defense confirmed that ISIS has used mustard gas weapons in Syria and Iraq. ISIS appears to have manufactured the mustard gas, rather than taking it from captured stockpiles.

  • Kevin Williamson wrote a good column on progressives and unintended consequences:

    It falls largely to persnickety, unpleasant eat-your-spinach types, and to certain happy souls blessedly liberated from the romance of politics by events and experience, to document that what is supposed to happen and what happens are not the same thing. Britons and Canadians and Americans can go on all they like about their “right” to health care, but calling something a right does not make it any less scarce (indeed, it is absolutely meaningless to proclaim a “right” to any scarce good), and whether you choose an anything-goes free market or an Anglo-Soviet single-payer monopoly model, there is going to be rationing, normally through the instrument of price. The only question is whether you get to make that decision for yourself or whether an Orwellian NICE guy makes it for you. You can raise wages at Walmart in the naïve expectation that there will be no consequences — in much the same way that all manner of bad decisions begin with the exhortation, “Here, hold my beer.” But there will be consequences. You can loot California until the only people comfortable living there are too rich to care or too poor to care, but the people between those limits have cars, and they know where the local U-Haul office is.

  • Mary Tillotson details Nevada’s education savings accounts (ESA) program, which offers wider eligibility than similar programs in other states. Unfortunately homeschool families can’t obtain ESA money unless their kids take annual standardized tests. Kids already enrolled in private schools can’t take advantage of the program, either.

  • Passengers on a Eurostar train traveling from Paris to London were trapped for five hours without power after immigrants stormed the train and climbed onto its roof. Without power there was no air conditioning, and security officers on the train refused to open doors or windows lest the immigrants gain entry. The train eventually retreated back to Paris.

  • China is holding a huge military parade in Beijing tomorrow to commemorate the end of World War II, but ordinary people won’t be allowed to see it firsthand: “The neighborhoods around Tiananmen Square, the main venue where President Xi Jinping will inspect the troops with foreign dignitaries, will be under curfew, and Beijing has mobilized 850,000 neighborhood watchers to report anything even slightly out of the ordinary.”

  • At least 18 Turkish workers were kidnapped at a construction site in Baghdad.