Articles chosen with care. Comments welcomed. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) wants the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate when Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, provided cover for the Hillary Clinton campaign, telling FBI director Comey to say, falsely, that their criminal investigation of Hillary’s email server was merely a “matter,” not an investigation.
It was a direct order to him, Comey testified. (Politico)
Feinstein made her statement on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Comment: Lynch’s conduct looks questionable and does deserve investigation.
Meet with Bill on the tarmac and get covered in tar yourself.
◆ Democratic Party: Split between establishment liberal leadership and activist-left base (New York Times)
Democrats are facing a widening breach in their party, as liberal activists dream of transforming the health care system and impeaching President Trump, while candidates in hard-fought elections ask wary voters merely for a fresh chance at governing.
The growing tension between the party’s ascendant militant wing and Democrats competing in conservative-leaning terrain, was on vivid, split-screen display over the weekend. In Chicago, Senator Bernie Sanders led a revival-style meeting of his progressive devotees, while in Atlanta, Democrats made a final push to seize a traditionally Republican congressional district. –New York Times
Comment: The Republicans have faced the same internal split, in their case between establishment leaders who want to govern and Tea Party/Freedom Caucus activists who want to roll back big government.
To me, these internal splits represent the electorate’s deep distrust of insiders and their self-dealing and an erosion of the party system itself.
◆ Pakistani terrorism court sentences man to to death for allegedly “insulting” Mohammed on Facebook (Fox News)
The man, Taimoor Raza, is from the minority Shiite sect and was initially charged with a lesser offense.
Raza’s verdict comes at a time when officials are increasingly pounding down on blasphemy claims across the country. At least 15 Pakistanis are said to have been arrested by the counterterrorism department under the umbrella of blasphemy, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Four other people were sentenced to death for the crime in 2016 alone. . . .
Scores of others in Pakistan remain on death row for alleged blasphemy, including Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who remains in solitary confinement after being convicted in 2010 following a debate with two Muslim women in a Punjab village.–Fox News
Comment: The obvious point is that Pakistan is a deeply illiberal state. The less obvious point is that Europe, especially England, has admitted a lot of people from that country who have retained those beliefs, posing serious challenges to UK’s tradition of religious tolerance.
◆ Puerto Rico votes in favor of statehood (Associated Press)
Some boycotted the vote, which had a very low turnout.
Comment: Good luck with that, he said sardonically. The Republican Congress is not going to greenlight it.
◆ The University of Dallas: An impressive reading list if you want to catch up on truly great books.
The school is proudly Catholic but its reading list is largely non-sectarian. The section on theology naturally emphasizes Catholic documents, but also includes Luther. Neither he nor the Council of Trent would be pleased. And Calvin would not be happy, either.
The link to the readings is here; click on “A Selection of the Great Books.” The choices are excellent, and the initial suggestions are not an overly long list.
Comment: The University’s impressive curriculum, plus its commitment to seminar discussion, should allow students to explore serious subjects and gain a deep understanding of Western civilization and its values.
There is nothing wrong with critiquing that civilization, of course. Nothing at all. Lively criticism–and response–is an essential part of higher education.
But my sense is that far too many university students begin (and often end) their critique of everything that is wrong with America, Canada, and Europe without actually knowing anything about the traditions they have inherited, including the precious right to engage in this kind of free and open cultural self-criticism.
That right was hard won and, as we saw too often in the 20th century, easily lost, even in the heart of Europe.
◆ A liberal establishment power-lawyer in DC signed up to represent Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Her friends now think she’s pond scum. (Washington Post story on Jamie Gorelick)
Some attack her publicly; others hide behind anonymity, proving the know what zip code they live in.
In a quintessentially D.C. move, some longtime friends of Gorelick contacted for this article offered complimentary comments about her on the record, and then, after asking if they could make other remarks without attribution, bashed their colleague to smithereens. –Washington Post
Comment: The issue here is not Jared and Ivanka. It is Gorelick’s Washington “friends,” who say one thing in public and another behind her back, under the cloak of anonymity, which the newspapers print freely.
Their behavior is capture in a quote attributed to Harry Truman: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
The attribution is probably incorrect.
But the sentiment is 100% correct.
The only discordant bark here is from my dog Lola, who says, for the record, “Do not bring me into this mess.”
♥ Hat Tip for helpful suggestions:
◆ Rod Dreher’s column, “Adult Seeks Classical Education” and to one of its commenters (Janine) for the University of Dallas story