Best Of The Web
“You could be forgiven for thinking that everyone active in American politics has lost their minds.
What we’re witnessing is not, however, collective madness. The political class in the United States has adapted to a constant atmosphere of high drama, and they’ve adopted the most theatrical poses possible if only to maintain the attention of their fickle audiences. What might look to dispassionate observers like mass hysteria is just overwrought performance art.
This week was a case study in our national insanity, which began aptly enough on Capitol Hill. There, confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh got underway, but Judge Kavanaugh’s presence was barely noticed. The hearings soon became a platform for some familiar grandstanding by members of the opposition party, but the over-acting to which the nation was privy was uniquely embarrassing.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker chewed the scenery, as is his habit, by declaring himself Spartacus and demanding that he be made a “martyr” via expulsion from the Senate for releasing one of Kavanaugh’s emails to the public, supposedly in violation of Senate confidentiality rules. But there was no violation, said Bill Bruck, the private attorney who led the review of Kavanaugh’s former White House records in the Senate. “We cleared the documents last night shortly after Senator Booker’s staff asked us to,” he said in a statement. Perhaps by engaging in what he called “an act civil disobedience,” Booker was only following the lead of his colleague, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who declared the committee’s process illegitimate, thereby supposedly rendering the rules of the United States Senate unworthy of recognition.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"The erosion of academic freedom on China’s campuses is directly linked with the increasingly repressive political environment outside the universities. This dynamic is quite clear with respect to labor issues."
"Trump is both too populist and not populist enough. His populism is largely, although not entirely, a matter of style — combative, lacerating, emotive, unpredictable and grandiose."
"Ultra-Orthodox communities are increasingly divided, with a small but growing number of young people openly defying their rabbis and voting for non-Haredi candidates – with major implications for the Diaspora."
"After 35 years as the host of Jeopardy! it’s hard to imagine that the 78-year-old Trebek, who caused fans’ hearts to skip a beat earlier this year when he suggested he might retire in 2020..."
"Generally, people work for employers, whether private organizations or government agencies, because employees add enough value to sustain their wages and still benefit the employer. Under a job guarantee, creating value is an afterthought."
"The first pig-to-human skin graft using live cells is set to take place this month in Boston. At the same time, Tector is readying a clinical trial in which he will install his triple-knockout pigs’ kidneys in dialysis patients..."
"Podcasting is a peculiarly intimate medium. Usually transmitted through headphones to a solitary listener, or played over the car stereo during a commute, an audio narrative can be immersive..."
"The children’s literary canon is sinking into the muck of identity politics, with grievance-studies devotees seeking to either “de-platform” older books, or teach them through the single-issue lens of grievances studies."
"People whose mothers have been married multiple times or have lived with multiple romantic partners are more likely to do so themselves... The longer people are exposed to their mother’s cohabitation, the more sexual partners they tend to have."
"As the Bible tells us, “The truth will set you free.” If you have ever met someone (literally, anyone) from California, you know that In-N-Out is actually a cult for which the pain of defecting is death."
"Mutations allowing humans to live at high altitudes have become more common in populations in Tibet, Ethiopia, and the Andes. The spread of genetic mutations in Tibet is possibly the fastest evolutionary change in humans..."
"The Hebrew Bible tends to regard idol worship as the sin par excellence. To Scott Shay, there is an underlying connection between hatred of Jews and Judaism’s rejection of the idolatrous worldview..."