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  • Stephen Miller wrote an excellent post about the larger implications of the Planned Parenthood video released by the Center for Medical Progress:

    The debate surrounding the basic morality, or lack thereof, of abortion will continue for generations. However, the argument Planned Parenthood doesn’t want to materialize is the one likely to be made by political moderates and casual attendees to the debate. People don’t have to be strict pro-life activists or even believers to be repelled by the demonstrable ecstasy Planned Parenthood and their progressive cheerleaders have shown in recent years at the dehumanization of such a difficult personal decision. The ghoulish delight the far left fringe expresses in their pez-dispenser abortion ideology is far more offensive to most young social moderates than the concern for the unborn expressed by the Right. Now couple all that with their new look: as street pimps auctioning off baby limbs for profit like an imitation Rolex sold out of the trunk of a car, with that profit then turning into a campaign donation to a Democrat candidate, the Metroid Mother Brain being the 2016 Democrat frontrunner in Hillary Clinton.

    How far they have fallen since “Safe, legal and rare.”

  • Mollie Hemingway compiled a long list of questions prompted by the Planned Parenthood video that an enterprising, curious reporter should be investigating. Of course you won’t see the mainstream media touch any of these.

  • The Obama administration has employed the doctor in the Planned Parenthood video, Deborah Nucatola, as a consultant for years. Most recently she worked as a technical consultant and expert on a report intended to increase the likelihood that babies are born healthy. This appears to be outside Nucatola’s area of expertise. Mary Hasson writes:

    Leave it to the Obama administration to tap an abortionist for “expert” advice on ensuring that children are “born healthy”—an abortionist, mind you, who relishes butchering a “17-weeker” and bagging up a tiny infant’s “heart, lung, liver” to sell for a few extra bucks.

    This particular working group employed several other abortionists, so it’s not as if Nucatola was a one-off.

  • Jeffrey Lord points out that the media outlets promoting the Donald Trump/John McCain kerfuffle are the same outlets that bashed John McCain during his 2008 presidential campaign, often citing his notoriously short temper.

  • Mark Steyn calls for a pox on both Trump’s and McCain’s houses:

    Forty years ago, John McCain was a war hero. Since then he’s mostly been an asshole. The problem is you can’t out-asshole Donald Trump. McCain is in the Superbowl of assholery and hopelessly outmatched. He was doing assholery-as-usual last week, sneering at Trump’s supporters as “the crazies”. On recent polls that’s getting on for 20 per cent of the Republican vote. If 20 per cent of Republican “crazies” take the same umbrage at McCain’s sneer that Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Reince Preibus et al have taken on McCain’s behalf at Trump’s, then Hillary will be President with a Democratic Senate and maybe even House.

    Steyn concludes with this:

    So maybe now the Republican bigshots could drop the queeny hysteria and begin talking about something – anything – that matters?

  • Kevin Williamson spent time with Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and had some interesting interactions with the people who attended his rallies:

    Aside from Grandma Stalin there, there’s not a lot of overtly Soviet iconography on display around the Bernieverse, but the word “socialism” is on a great many lips. Not Bernie’s lips, for heaven’s sake: The guy’s running for president. But Tara Monson, a young mother who has come out to the UAW hall to support her candidate, is pretty straightforward about her issues: “Socialism,” she says. “My husband’s been trying to get me to move to a socialist country for years — but now, maybe, we’ll get it here.” The socialist country she has in mind is Norway, which of course isn’t a socialist country at all: It’s an oil emirate. Monson is a classic American radical, which is to say, a wounded teenager in an adult’s body: Asked what drew her to socialism and Bernie, she says that she is “very atheist,” and that her Catholic parents were not accepting of this. She goes on to cite her “social views,” and by the time she gets around to the economic questions, she’s not Helle Thorning-Schmidt — she’s Pat Buchanan, complaining about “sending our jobs overseas.”

    L’Internationale, my patootie. This is national socialism.

  • Salena Zito explains how frustration with Washington, D.C. in flyover country is buoying the candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders: “Americans are just tired of it all. Tired of no one speaking honestly to them, tired of being told they cannot speak honestly… People look at government with an anger and a frustration which Washington does not understand… If you are ‘out here’ — outside Washington, outside of the coastal elites — you are overwhelmed by the incompetency; if you are ‘inside’ those, you don’t understand folks’ skepticism about everything related to government, including cutting a deal with Iran.”

  • The U.N. Security Council endorsed the Iranian nuclear deal. Secretary of State John Kerry claims that he argued during the negotiations that the Security Council shouldn’t vote on lifting sanctions until the U.S. Congress voted on the deal, but Iran, Russia, and the European countries wouldn’t go along.

  • Mike Rappaport not only thinks the Iranian nuclear deal is a bad one, but executive usurpation of the Senate’s treaty power is even worse:

    Not only is the deal unconstitutional, its unconstitutionality is essential to it occurring. If the President had to secure two thirds of the Senate or a majority of both houses, this deal almost certainly would not be approved.

  • The Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, and 28 of his senior staffers have been using private web-based email from their office computers – at least they did until today, when that access was suspended. We don’t know if they used these private email systems purely for personal use or if they followed the lead of other Obama administration officials and used them for official work, too.

  • The Center for Immigration Studies and the Pew Research Center estimate that 2.5 million illegal immigrants arrived in the U.S. during President Obama’s years in office.

  • The USS North Dakota is the first U.S. Navy submarine to launch an underwater drone. The submarine and its crew accomplished this during a recently completed deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Department of Defense regulations enable military commanders to permit their troops to carry weapons, but they’re so afraid that someone will lose or accidentally discharge a weapon that they’d rather accept the risk of a Chattanooga-style attack.

  • Stanley Kurtz explains how the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule effectively annexes suburbs to cities.

  • Victor Davis Hanson writes that San Francisco’s leaders must believe the South won the Civil War because they’re perfectly happy nullifying federal laws, specifically those related to deporting illegal immigrants:

    Let us be honest: San Francisco’s legal nullification is not an act of racial blindness and fairness under the law, but one of political pandering, ethnic chauvinism and misplaced liberal narcissism.

  • Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus is among the politicians who attempted to convince the University of Texas to admit students who wouldn’t otherwise make it into the school.

  • A suspected ISIS suicide bomber killed at least 30 people in Suruc, Turkey, which is just across the border from Kobani, Syria.

Links for 6-15-2015

  • Senator Bob Corker is shocked, shocked that President Obama is negotiating a bad nuclear deal with Iran. In that case Corker probably shouldn’t have sponsored the legislation that requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate to block the Iranian nuclear treaty. Allahpundit writes:

    I assume this is an elaborate form of “failure theater,” in which the GOP willingly capitulates to O while trying to make it look to their base like they put up a tough fight before being outmaneuvered. The more indignant Corker appears to be that Obama’s screwing up negotiations, the harder it’ll be convince Republicans who are barely paying attention to this that the party made this sellout possible by not insisting that the Iran deal be regarded as a treaty. If that’s not what Corker’s doing here then I can only assume he really is genuinely surprised to find that this deal may be worse than he feared, in which case he’s too much of a schmuck to be in the Senate. Which, given the usual standards of schmuckery there, is really saying something.

  • Stanley Kurtz uncovered video of a Brookings Institution event where advocates for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s forthcoming Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation talk among themselves and let the cat out of the bag:

    The June 1, 2015 Brookings event on “Place and Opportunity” was streamed on video by 30 officials at HUD and 9 officials from the Seattle Housing Authority, a national center of regionalist policies. The section of the video of particular interest comes in the form of a comment by event host, Brookings Fellow Richard Reeves, on remarks by panelist Margery Austin Turner. Turner, senior vice president for Program, Planning, and Management at the Urban Institute, is also a former deputy assistant secretary for research at HUD, and so (as Reeves points out) was addressing many of her former HUD colleagues online. What we’re seeing on video, then, is not an isolated opinion, but evidence of the state of mind of the core advocates and officials who shape the Obama administration’s housing policies.

    The key exchange comes between 1:21:08 and 1:23:59 on the video. In response to a question from Reeves about what “getting serious” about housing policy would mean, Turner cites AFFH, arguing that the rule could bring “incredibly important” changes to America. Slyly, she acknowledges that AFFH isn’t so much enforcing the original legal obligation to “affirmatively further fair housing,” as it is changing our understanding of what that obligation means. (In other words, AFFH is stretching a directive to prevent discrimination into a mandate for social engineering.) Turner then says that it would take decades for AFFH to fully transform society along the lines she desires. (I’d add that the rule won’t take nearly that long to gut local government in America.)

    What’s interesting is that when Turner finishes her discussion of AFFH by saying that the rule “sounds very obscure, but I think it could be hugely important,” Reeves breaks in and says: “Perhaps it’s important to keep [the AFFH rule] sounding obscure in order to get it through.” (In other words, to get the AFFH rule enacted before public opposition and congressional Republicans can block it, we’ve got to keep its existence and importance quiet.) At this point, the audience laughs sympathetically. Then Reeves adds: “Sometimes obscurity is the best political strategy, particularly in this area.”

  • Jeb Bush announced his campaign for president, and his first ad looks like a resurrection of compassionate conservatism.

  • Clayton Kelly, the blogger who broke into a nursing home and recorded video of Senator Thad Cochran’s wife, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty. Cochran’s wife died in December, and Cochran married an aide last month.

  • A former CIA operative who ran a network of informants in Afghanistan claims that Bowe Bergdahl was high on hashish when he wandered off base and was captured.

  • The Magna Carta was signed 800 years ago today.

  • Firearm manufacturer Colt Defense filed for bankruptcy.

  • The city of Austin, Texas commissioned a report on the environmental effects of the single-use plastic bag ban it enacted in 2013. The report concluded that, on the whole, the ban was worse for the environment than the bags it outlawed.

  • The Kurdish YPG gained control of Tel Abyad, a Syrian town on the border with Turkey. The town was a major conduit for moving fighters, weapons, and oil to and from ISIS’ de facto capital, Raqqa.

  • Russia threatened an arms build-up if the U.S. stations heavy weapons in Eastern Europe.