Links for 5-11-2016

  • Stephen Miller believes conservatives should walk away from Trump and the Republican Party and plan for the long term:

    Donald Trump is the perfect Fox News Nominee; a nonsensical congeries of every clichéd talking point the political Left has poked conservatives with for the past decade. He seemingly has formed his ideology from Greta polls and Breitbart comment sections. He’s your grandfather sitting in his favorite Archie Bunker rip-off chair screaming about how This Country Is Goin’ To Hell, but with about a billion extra dollars to burn and enough spray tan to lacquer an entire Real Housewives cast three times over. He’s the perfect soundbite candidate, and 40 million dollars’ worth of free soundbites is what carried him to the nomination.

    Actually Trump has received nearly $3 billion in free advertising,not $40 million. Later Miller writes:

    Conservatives who become Social Justice Warriors themselves, on behalf of Trump, are giving into a chintzy fad, one which ultimately only serves the interests of the man running the show. Worshipping a cult of personality still makes you a cult member, and make no mistake: no matter how many “TRUMP 2016” chalk-markings you leave on university sidewalks–and admittedly we all enjoy winding up the new squares of the “trigger”-happy generation–realize that you’re shifting exactly zero narratives in media and culture. Crusading over someone’s missing blue check mark is not moving the Overton window. There is no virtue to be found in living and dying by the news cycle or viral tweet. Any casual attendee making a face at a baseball game today can accomplish that. Social Justice Warriors on both the left and the right thrive on capturing the viral rage of a single moment in time and attempting to hit the home run with it. #NeverTrump is as pointless as #BringBackOurGirls.

  • Donald Trump still won’t release his tax returns, falsely blaming an in-progress audit. John Fund thinks this is a ticking time bomb, and suggests delegates to the Republican National Convention withhold their votes until Trump releases his returns:

    This is Trump’s bait-and switch-style at its most dangerous. Some Trump delegates and their alternates should write him an open letter demanding his unredacted tax returns. If he declines, they should declare they will abstain on the first ballot of the convention, driving him below the number needed to nominate. The delegates should not give Republicans a time bomb that could help take down GOP control of the House or the Senate, or both.

    A friend of Donald Trump’s recently approached him to suggest that he will eventually have to release his tax returns, as every presidential nominee has for decades. The friend told Trump that he should do it before the GOP convention to ensure everyone can process what’s in the returns and help make any revelations “old news” by November. If Trump didn’t do that, he was warned, the odds of politicized leaks from his returns were high, citing several examples from the Obama era, including the illegal leaking of some of Romney’s tax information by the IRS in 2012.

    “What will you do if the returns come out as part of an October surprise?” Trump was asked. Trump pondered the question and replied, “I’ll say they aren’t mine.” That stunning answer is the essence of Donald Trump. “It’s exactly what I’d expect him to say,” Fox Business’s Charlie Gasparino, who has known Trump for decades, told me.

    Later Trump “clarified” that he’ll release his tax returns when the audit is done, without indicating when that might happen.

  • Donald Trump claims he has a mandate to blow off voter targeting and get out the vote efforts in the general election, and will just hold rallies instead. That prompted this quip from Dan McLaughlin:

  • House Republicans told Paul Ryan they want an audience with Donald Trump. Allahpundit thinks this is pointless and silly:

    I guess they have to do this, if only for appearances, but c’mon. What would a Q&A, even a half-day of Q&A, with Trump achieve for House members who are wary of him? What could he conceivably say at this point to reassure a conservative Republican who isn’t sold yet after 11 months of daily televised Trump rallies? If he stood up and recited the Paul Ryan policy agenda as his own personal credo, no one would believe him. If he stood up and gave them his protectionist pitch, they’ll take it as proof that he’s not going to accommodate conservative lawmakers’ concerns. So instead he’ll stand up and give them some oatmeal about how the party’s a big tent and there’s room for all views and of course he respects the House and intends to work with the Speaker, yadda yadda yadda. That tells you nothing about how Trump will really behave as president. Meeting with the conference is a gladhanding opportunity, nothing more. And it’s all downside for Trump himself: If he declines the offer to meet, he’s snubbing an important group of Republicans, and if he accepts, he puts himself at risk of giving an answer that’ll end up alienating some fencesitters — or, worse, convincing them that he has no idea what he’s talking about on most policy. Maybe that’s why the Freedom Caucus sounds especially eager to meet with him. This is their opportunity to give him an ideological baptism by fire.

  • Marco Rubio still doesn’t think Donald Trump should be trusted with the country’s nuclear codes, but he’s voting for him anyway. Such courage. Such conviction. I’m in awe.

  • Charlie Rose interviewed three former Obama speechwriters, David Litt, Jon Favreau, and Jon Lovett. The conversation turned to President Obama’s “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” line, which prompted giggles from everyone. It’s a joke now, and it was a joke then, too – it’s just that not everyone was in on the joke back then.

  • When some companies controlled by the Chinese government are sued in American courts, they’re claiming they can’t be sued thanks to sovereign immunity.

  • Joy Pullmann writes that Common Core is the fulfillment of Hillary Clinton’s 1990s efforts to nationalize the country’s education system along progressive lines.

  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined that the 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas was the result of arson. The explosion killed 15 people. The ATF is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

  • A judge ruled that the man who murdered three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic is mentally incompetent to stand trial, and ordered him to a state mental hospital.

  • Nolan Peterson reported an uncomfortable truth from an American air base near Erbil, Iraq:

    For many U.S. military personnel on the ground in Iraq, [U.S. Navy SEAL Charles] Keating’s death underscored something they’ve known for a long time—U.S. special operations forces are neck-deep in the daily grind of the ground war against ISIS.

  • ISIS used a car bomb to kill at least 64 people in Sadr City, Iraq. Two additional attacks in Baghdad later in the day killed 29 people.

  • Russia is ticked off about a new missile defense installation in Romania that the U.S. is powering up tomorrow and a two week military exercise in Georgia that includes American and British troops.

  • The Convention of States Project released a video explaining Article V of the Constitution and illustrating how leaders from our founding through Ronald Reagan have supported exercising it: