November 19, 2018

United States

"With the midterm election a week-plus behind us — well, mostly behind us, as Democrats continue to try to steal seats in certain locations — it is time to take a look ahead at what we are facing over the next two years."

"The US placed sanctions on 17 Saudis on Thursday as punishment for their alleged involvement in the murder of Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi... according to experts, the move doesn’t go far enough to reprimand the kingdom."

"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."

"From Vienna to Chile, the success of social housing for the working and middle classes shows how beautiful homes can coexist with urban housing for all."

"That Trump would threaten California in the midst of this tragedy is, on its own, an act of cruelty. But his tweet was also plain wrong... there’s no dense forest surrounding the cities hit hardest by the fires."

"Get ready for Hillary Clinton 4.0. More than 30 years in the making, this new version of Mrs. Clinton, when she runs for president in 2020, will come full circle—back to the universal-health-care-promoting progressive firebrand of 1994."

"Money isn’t everything, but this cash advantage doubtless helped in places where a Democrat narrowly knocked off a Republican incumbent."

"Compulsory voting is often pitched as the silver bullet to the many ills of American democracy, with the assumption that high turnout is always good."

"The caustic nature of Trump’s rhetoric and the heedlessness of his border enforcement policies has served, at least in the short term, to mask the dilemma that Democrats face."

"Meritocracy, which underpins many of our most basic assumptions about our society, is looking increasingly threadbare as an organizing principle."

"Two groups of voters—white women with college degrees and white men without—have moved drastically in opposite directions, the WSJ/NBC poll shows."

"Few developed nations—and none of the countries of Europe, which many Americans want to emulate—practice the rule of jus soli, or “right of the soil.”"

"What has HIAS done to earn Mr. Bowers’s death-dealing hatred? It was founded in 1881 as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Its original mission was to assist Jews fleeing to America from pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe."

"President Trump cannot be blamed for the return of geopolitics. Russia, China and Iran decided to challenge the American power on which the economic order depended, and Mr. Obama’s response to that challenge was, regrettably, insufficient."

"The only emotion of which there has not been a public surfeit in a week that began with explosive devices addressed to Bill and Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats and ended with 11 people dead at a synagogue in Pittsburgh is fear."

"The Soros-caravan conspiracy theory weaves together anti-Semitism, fear of immigrants and the specter of powerful foreign agents controlling major world events in pursuit of a hidden agenda."

"In the world of conspiracy theorists, though, “false flags” are seemingly everywhere. They’re relied on to explain away events that seem too big or too terrible to be real..."

"Elements of the Confederate flag had been incorporated into the Georgia flag in 1956, as part of that state’s massive resistance against the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education."

"But while Democrats contend with midterm voter turnout, increased internal polarization, and grassroots restlessness, another foe could quietly prove dangerous in their mission: the Green Party."

"It's going to be a letdown. Not only is it likely that the final report will not reveal that the president has been a KGB agent since the late '80s, as at least one mainstream liberal columnist fantasized."

"The 2017 Republican tax cuts have been a dud on the campaign trail ahead of the November midterm elections, so President Trump has come up with a new plan: more tax cuts."

"Just about every poll predicts it won’t happen... And yet House Republicans — and privately, even a few Democrats — say the GOP could still hang on, if only by a few seats."

"The country—consciously or unconsciously—has gotten used to Donald Trump. Twenty-one months into his administration, Mr. Trump has been processed, or half-processed—even subtly domesticated—by the large, complicated American mind..."

The left has an agenda. Now it needs a story.

“Congress and the president have historically reined in the justices when they’ve gone against public opinion.”

“Donald Trump has this one right. Democrats have become a party of political radicals.”

“The ever-present president reflects a new media strategy, driven by the president’s natural impulses.”

Hillary Clinton thinks Americans should “go low,” but are we ready to give up on civility?

“With a lawsuit against Harvard, Asian-American activists have formed an alliance with a white conservative to change higher education.”

“A team of computer scientists sifted through records of unusual Web traffic in search of answers.”

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JJ Best Of The Web

"Military relations in the transatlantic alliance are humming. Yet an intangible but palpable crisis is shaking the foundations of NATO – and it has brought the organization to a moment of reckoning."

"With the midterm election a week-plus behind us — well, mostly behind us, as Democrats continue to try to steal seats in certain locations — it is time to take a look ahead at what we are facing over the next two years."

"Leaving the ultra-Orthodox community is nothing new in Israel. Everyone, secular or religious, knows someone who used to be on, but is now “off the derech.” But the phenomenon hasn’t been well studied."

"Post Malone’s music is dead-eyed and ignorant, astonishingly dull in its materialism, an abandoned lot of creativity with absolutely no evidence of traffic in his cerebral cortex — and there’s also a negative side..."

"Having assessed over 2,000 CEOs and over 18,000 C-suite leaders since 1995, we are struck by how often careers of talented executives stall or even derail because of seemingly trivial issues, many of which are utterly fixable."

"While the revelation of an apparent indictment against Julian Assange sets an ominous precedent for news organizations, it also serves as a reminder of his group’s stark transformation."

"Through classes and workshops, men across the United States are attempting to unlearn "toxic masculinity"—for society and for themselves."

"While many books experience sweeping popularity, Ferrante’s novels are part of a subgroup of pop culture that compels people to travel. Tour groups like Looking for Lila and Ferrante Fever Naples have popped up across Naples..."

"E-cigarettes may help tobacco smokers quit. But the alluring devices can swiftly induce a nicotine habit in teenagers who never smoked. This is the tale of one person’s struggle."

"As thrilled as I am to be hosting (and therefore not to have to deal with one of the busiest travel days of the year), I’ll be honest: I’m a little stressed out. "

"Humanity is on the verge of a weighty achievement. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations will convene in Versailles, France, to approve a new definition for the kilogram."

"Be connected, be still, and be satisfied -- my 3 essential principles of Shabbat do more for me than all the halacha I learned to be a rabbi."