January 19, 2019

United States

"A defiant effort to exonerate himself in the Trump-Russia saga also looks like a campaign to raise money and sell books."

"A former first lady, senator, & secretary of state can barely fill up half of an arena as she tours with her husband across the continent. Meanwhile, a subsequent first lady who never really wanted the job is selling out tickets for her book tour."

"Walking away from power and divorcing oneself from all the puffery and pageantry that comes with being a “somebody” takes genuine character. Leave it to both Presidents Bush to embrace the idea of never looking back."

"Trump gave the response he always gives when he's caught in a big fat lie: I didn't do it. But hey, if I did do it, it wasn't a crime."

"A spokesman for Assange denied that the meetings with Manafort took place, but then, Assange had also denied that he had been in contact with Roger Stone until emails proving it came out."

"Why he would try to get away with this — and whether a plea deal has been dangled — will be the source of much speculation but, in the larger scheme of things, something more consequential may be going on."

"While foreign funding of campaigns is prohibited by federal statute, the body that enforces campaign finance laws – the Federal Election Commission (FEC) – lacks both teeth and resources."

"Democrats can use their new power in the House to check the Trump administration’s recklessness and advance their own foreign policies."

"He’s the hottest thing on the left since Barack Obama—or John Edwards. Here’s why running for president would expose his weaknesses."

"CNN dropped the lawsuit when the White House agreed to allow Acosta to regain access, and instituted new guidelines for press conferences. As with of Trump’s other pokes at the Constitution, this one got at the heart of core democratic norms."

"The presidential news conferences have become frustrating to watch and, doubtless, are frustrating for President Trump to engage in. While we have freedom of the press in our country, we should not tolerate unprofessionalism."

"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."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."

"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."

"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"

"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."

"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""

"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "

"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."

"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."

"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."

"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"