The BuzzFeed Standard

So last night, BuzzFeed decided to publish a “dossier” filled with allegations—one of them absolutely disgusting—against Donald Trump whose veracity it openly said it could not verify. All BuzzFeed knew was that the dossier had been circulating in political circles, that it had been generated by “political opponents of Trump,” and had been produced by a former British intelligence agent. I go into more detail here, and the reasons why the release of these documents represents a new low in journalistic behavior. For one thing, when former intelligence agents or those who claim to have been intelligence agents peddle information, the proper stance toward their tales is extreme skepticism, as anyone who has ever worked with them on news stories is fully aware.

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The BuzzFeed Standard

Must-Reads from Magazine

That Old Familiar Song

Donald who?

For months, Trump-skeptical conservatives who have taken a critical look at the sensationalists and provocateurs on their side of the political divide have been bombarded with the accusation that they are acting in bad faith. The pro-Trump right alleges that this critical audit is only a tawdry reflex by urban elites who are embarrassed by Trump and Co.’s style, not their substance. On this, it seems the pro-Trump right and the anti-Trump left agree.

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The Gun Debate Gets Worse and Worse

Podcast: Gun control and embassy politics.

The events of the past week following the mass shooting in Florida have only increased the divide in this country on the issue of guns—and pretty much everything else. This is what we talk about on the final podcast of the week. And we talk about whether Sheldon Adelson should pay for the U.S. embassy in Israel. Give a listen.

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The Russian Stooge Who Squeezed Russia

When the facts change, so should opinions.

In some progressive and Never-Trump circles, it is an article of faith that Vladimir Putin helped President Trump get elected in the hope that the New Yorker would tilt U.S. foreign policy toward Moscow. If that’s true, then the Russian strongman made a dreadful investment. Under Trump, Washington is doing far more to put pressure on Russia than it ever did under his “flexible” predecessor.

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Congress Doesn’t Want the Responsibility Anymore

A crisis of apathy.

The American republic owes its longevity to the uniqueness of its revolution. Unlike almost every subsequent revolution, that of the Founders was not motivated by an interest in perfecting mankind’s inherent flaws. Rather, they fashioned a government that saw humanity as it was—imperfect—and they sought to constrain its worst impulses. “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” read a prescient admonition in Federalist 51. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” The constitutional conventioneers, therefore, devised a system in which those who desire the accumulation of power would compete against other similarly motivated power centers. The Founders could not have envisioned the present circumstances. It seems that the most important branch of the federal government—the legislature—doesn’t much care for the responsibility of governing. Indeed, Congress appears eager to give their authority away.

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The New Old European Obsession

Some things never change.

Does Europe still want its Jews, and can the Jews still find belonging in Europe? Ask the likes of Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, and they will answer firmly and decisively in the affirmative. Yet their assurances ring hollow amid a resurgence of Europe’s old and unhealthy obsession with Jews.

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