Links for 1-25-2012

  • Dueling accounts of Newt Gingrich by Reagan administration vets: Elliott Abrams writes at National Review Online that Gingrich “often spewed insulting rhetoric at Reagan, his top aides, and his policies to defeat Communism,” while Jeffrey Lord writes at The American Spectator that Gingrich “was in fact one of Reagan’s Young Lieutenants.
    One of the best.”

  • A Zetas cartel member who became a DEA informant has been testifying in court about a group of cartel hit men operating out of a safe house in Laredo.

  • More documents obtained by Judicial Watch via the Freedom of Information Act show the Obama White House, the Department of Justice, and Project Vote coordinating efforts to boost voter registration, which led to significant increases in fraudulent registrations.

Links for 1-24-2012

Links for 1-23-2012

  • Mark Steyn on the lack of a “women and children first” ethic on the Costa Condordia: “Whenever I write about these subjects, I receive a lot of mail from men along the lines of this correspondent: ‘The feminists wanted a gender-neutral society. Now they’ve got it. So what are you complaining about?’ And so the manly virtues (if you’ll forgive a quaint phrase) shrivel away to the so-called ‘man caves,’ those sad little redoubts of beer and premium cable sports networks.”

  • Mark Steyn on Mitt Romney: “Newt’s ‘spontaneous’ indignation at John King was carefully crafted by Gingrich himself. By contrast, Mitt has a ton of consultants, and not one of them thought he needed a credible answer on Bain or taxes? For a guy running as a chief exec applying proven private-sector solutions, his campaign looks awfully like an unreformable government bureaucracy: big, bloated, overstaffed, burning money, slow to react, and all but impossible to change.”

  • Josh Trevino (via Ben Domenech) on why Newt Gingrich won in South Carolina: “Conservatives (accurately) perceive the media mainstream to be a de facto organ of the liberal left, and by extension, the Democratic Party — and they understand that conservative governance is absolutely impossible unless that organ is defeated or co-opted. On the latter count, ask President John McCain how his co-option efforts went. When Newt Gingrich crushes a hapless journalist, he isn’t just tossing up a parlor trick: he’s demonstrating an indispensable prerequisite to conservative governance today.” I agree. For a Republican presidential candidate to win the general election, he/she must defeat not only the Democrat nominee, but the mainstream media, too.

  • Today Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asked a federal district court to approve Texas’ voter ID law. I emailed Attorney General Abbott on January 1 (the day the voter ID law was scheduled to go into effect) asking him to do this, so I’m glad he took this step. He left the application pending at the Department of Justice, however, which may or may not be a good idea.

  • Meanwhile in yet another court venue regarding Texas’ redistricting maps, liberals gave vent to their indignation. A University of North Carolina professor, Theodore Arrington, testified thusly: “All the experts in this case agree. Hispanics vote cohesively for Democrats.” Congratulations, Hispanic folks, in the best case the Democrats consider you a captive voter population. I’ll let you imagine what the worst case might be.

  • Arizona’s federal revenge: The state legislature will create a committee to investigate Operation Fast and Furious and determine if it violated any Arizona laws.

  • The Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement must obtain a warrant to place a GPS tracker on someone’s vehicle. While the ruling was unanimous, not all of the justices arrived at the ruling via the same reasoning.

  • In 2011, 48.5% of the U.S. population lived in a household that received some form of government benefit. Direct transfer payments to individuals comprised 65% of the federal budget.

  • James Pethokoukis analyzes Larry Summers’ secret memo to Obama. Pethokoukis’ first point is that Obama’s stimulus was a slush fund used to reward his supporters — but most of us guessed that long ago.

  • A letter from Angelo Codevilla on the antagonism between the Republican establishment and Republican voters.

  • Charles Murray on the Department of Education: “As far as I can determine, the Department of Education has no track record of positive accomplishment — nothing in the national numbers on educational achievement, nothing in the improvement of educational outcomes for the disadvantaged, nothing in the advancement of educational practice.” Also: “The bachelor of arts degree as it has evolved over the last half-century has become the work of the devil.”

  • Some Chevy dealers are refusing to accept their Volt allocations.

  • The Boston Bruins’ goalie, Tim Thomas, skipped a White House ceremony because (as he wrote on Facebook), “I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.” He wears a Gadsden flag motto on his mask.

  • An excellent time-lapse video of Yosemite National Park.

  • “The Big Picture” covers the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. The ice sculptures lit at night are particularly cool.

Links for 1-20-2012

  • The Supreme Court gave Texas a partial victory in its redistricting map case. The good news: The Supreme Court tossed the legislative maps drawn by the Federal District Court in San Antonio. The bad news: The Supreme Court ordered the District Court to draw new maps based on the maps approved by the Texas legislature. Only Justice Thomas was prepared to allow elections to proceed based on the maps drawn by the legislature. Unfortunately the District Court does not appear to be in a hurry. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a motion asking the District Court to speed things up and finish interim maps by January 30.

  • The American Enterprise Institute published a depressing article on the Federal Housing Administration (FHA): “…when measured against the accounting system used by private mortgage insurers, the FHA is deeply insolvent, with a capital shortfall of tens of billions of dollars. If it were a private firm, state regulators would immediately shut it down. Even using its own rosy numbers puts the FHA’s leverage at 840 to 1, a far more scandalous ratio than even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” Another taxpayer funded bailout in the making.

  • Patrick J. Cunningham, the Chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, informed the House Committee on Oversight that he’s going to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights when he responds to their subpoena regarding Operation Fast and Furious. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is not happy.

  • An interesting article by Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation on the forthcoming revolution in college education.

  • The most recent additions to Newt Judges You are excellent.

Links for 1-19-2012

  • Rick Perry’s presidential campaign launched in Charleston at RedState Gathering 2011 and ended in Charleston when RedState’s Erick Erickson said it should, concluding with his recommended endorsement of Newt Gingrich. On Twitter Erickson hinted that there was more to Rick Perry’s suspending his presidential campaign than met the eye. We’ll see if Perry’s endorsement, the latest South Carolina polls showing Gingrich with a slim lead, and another debate performance are enough to push Gingrich out ahead of Romney in spite of the ABC News interview with his ex-wife Marianne.

  • Sarah Palin believes the mainstream media (ABC News in particular) overplayed its hand with the Marianne Gingrich interview and the resulting backlash will benefit, not damage, Newt Gingrich. Gingrich certainly nuked CNN’s John King when King opened tonight’s debate with a question about Marianne’s allegation that Newt asked for an open marriage.

  • Democrats in the House of Representatives resumed their efforts to bring Atlas Shrugged to life by proposing the “Gas Price Spike Act,” which imposes a windfall tax on shale oil and gas. It creates a “Reasonable Profits Board” that would set tax rates, with the revenue allocated to “forward thinking transportation alternatives.” Yes, Dennis Kucinich is a sponsor. Surprise!

  • I like Daniel Horowitz’s idea to abolish the Highway Trust Fund and its fuel taxes. The interstate highway system has been finished for decades — let the states tax and spend on roadways as they see fit.

  • The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Patrick J. Cunningham, the Chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona. He’s accused of lying to Congress regarding Operation Fast and Furious.

Links for 1-18-2012

Links for 1-17-2012

  • An excellent explanation of how federal government spending forms the fault line between the GOP Establishment and the Tea Party:

    The real battle between the Establishment and the Outsiders is between those who urge significant changes in our spending patterns as a necessity to preserve the America we have known, and those who are unwilling to take that step. It is, in short, between those who are, and those who are not, willing to take action in the belief that the currently established structure of how public money is spent is unsustainable and must be fixed while it still can if we are not to lose by encroachments the all the other things Republicans and conservatives stand for.

  • Rick Perry is taking heat from Turkey and the U.S. State Department for calling Turkey’s government leaders “Islamic terrorists.” He has a point, however — under Erdoğan, Turkey’s government has endorsed Hamas and otherwise demonstrated they are not necessarily our ally. It would be good to have a discussion of the circumstances that would lead to booting Turkey out of NATO.

  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that the one million signatures that unions collected to force a recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are the product of “underhanded, fraudulent and illegal tactics.”

  • An Iranian activist who was studying medicine in Houston, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, was shot as she drove her car into the townhouse complex where she lived. “Bagherzadeh was of Iranian descent and was outspoken in promoting Iranian women’s rights and criticizing the Iranian government, according to interviews she had done with the Houston Chronicle.” The police are saying her death wasn’t related to her activism, but they don’t have a suspect or a motive, so it’s hard to see how they can draw that conclusion at this point in their investigation.

  • A YouTube video that compares Mitt Romney’s positions to Barack Obama’s: