Another Example of Central Government Intrusion

…into the States’ internal affairs. This one is via The New York Times and a piece Matt Apuzzo has there [emphasis added].

Burlington, WA, was a small city fighting what seemed like a local lawsuit. Three poor people said that their public lawyers were too overworked to adequately represent them in municipal court cases. The dispute went mostly unnoticed for two years, until the Obama administration became involved.

Unannounced, the Justice Department filed documents in the case and told the [Federal] judge that he had broad authority to demand changes in Burlington and nearby Mount Vernon. The judge quickly agreed and ordered the cities to hire a new public defense supervisor. He also said he would monitor their legal aid program for three years.

Russian Disingenuosity

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the Ukrainian government Monday for an uptick in violence in eastern Ukraine, saying Kiev’s forces were apparently preparing for a fresh offensive, as Ukraine blamed Russia-backed separatists for the escalation.

Never mind that, were it true that Ukraine is readying an offensive, it would only be true because the Ukrainian government has a right—a duty—to drive the Russian troops from Ukrainian soil and to bring the “separatists” to justice.

Another Misunderstanding

This one is by Patrick O’Connor in Wall Street Journal Washington Wire piece.

Senator and Presidential candidate (R, FL) spoke to the Foreign Policy Initiative in New York City last Friday, and he decried President Barack Obama’s nuclear weapons “deal” with Iran and Obama’s decision to resume ties with Cuba and reopen an embassy there.

Mr Rubio outlined those positions in a Friday speech in New York hosted by the Foreign Policy Initiative, further casting himself as the candidate most eager to reignite tensions with two longtime adversaries.

Party Apparatchik

…PRC style. The truth police are there to help.

China’s government will set up cybersecurity police units at major Internet companies, in Beijing’s latest move to tighten control over the country’s online forums.

And

China’s Ministry of Public Security didn’t say which companies will have the new police units.

The modern version of Партийных аппаратчиков.

An Acceptable Conclusion

Pavlo Klimkin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister acknowledged over the weekend that Russian forces are in control of his country’s oblasts, Donetsk and Luhansk.

He also said that it’s time for Russia begin

“real negotiations” about a cease-fire and stabilization in Ukraine’s war-torn east which will require fair elections that are intentionally monitored.

He’s right. But that would require Vladimir Putin first to stop lying about Russia’s behavior toward Ukraine. In the end, too, an acceptable conclusion to Russia’s invasion, IMNSHO, would be Russian withdrawal from eastern Ukraine and the end of their occupation of Crimea.

Obama Gets One Right

Edward Snowden will likely remain hiding in Russia for some time, with Washington officials and most Americans offering no leniency or forgiveness for him notoriously stealing classified information and jeopardizing U.S. national security.

President Barack Obama, through his Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco, said this about that:

Mr Snowden’s dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work…to protect it[.]

And then he tossed a petition to pardon this…scofflaw, the petition a product of a two year effort to let Snowden skate, into the round file.

School Choice and Unions

There’s a contradiction in terms.

In January parents filed a petition to convert Palm Lane Elementary in Anaheim into a charter under California’s 2010 parent-trigger law, which allows a majority of parents in any failing school to force changes.

Naturally, the school’s district officials and teachers union demurred. Never mind that

Palm Lane had made the state Department of Education’s list of underperforming schools since 2003. Fewer than 40% of students scored proficient in English in 2013. About 85% are Hispanic, and most are low-income.

(Where is the Obama DoJ and disparate impact? Oh, wait…).

Hillary Clinton’s Emails

It just gets better and better. Hillary Clinton has released a “FAQ” about her emails and her destruction of a significant fraction of them. Byron York, writing in The Washington Examiner, had some thoughts about them.

One of the FAQ questions Clinton posed concerned whether any of her emails were under subpoena at the time they were destroyed.

The emails that Clinton chose not to keep were personal emails—they were not federal records or even work-related—and therefore were not subject to any preservation obligation under the Federal Records Act or any request. Nor would they have been subject to the subpoena—which did not exist at the time….

National Security Teams

USMC General Joseph Dunford, in a Senate confirmation hearing concerning his nomination as our new Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, had this to say about threats to our national security.

My assessment today…is that Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security.

So if you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia.

In Russia we have a nuclear power. We have one that not only has the capability to violate the sovereignty of our allies and to do things that are inconsistent with our national interests, but they’re in the process of doing so.

Oxen and Gorings

Howard Kurtz is upset about some (Republican) politicians pushing back on press foolishness. He spent much of his column at the link writing about Republican candidates objecting to the press’ hyping of manufactured problems (Rubio’s traffic tickets, Christie’s bridge problems, and so on) and decrying the candidates for spending so much time acting like their oxen were getting stabbed. Then Kurtz made this remarkable remark:

[A]t some point candidates have to figure out how to use the press to sell their message, rather than just complaining.

Because if the candidates bypass the press, rather than “figure out how to use the press,” the press wouldn’t have much to do.