Manafortsplaining

Podcast: Mueller claims his first scalps.

The first COMMENTARY podcast of the week finds me, Abe Greenwald, and Noah Rothman considering the volcanic possible consequences that might flow from Special Prosecutor Mueller’s indictments of one-time Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Then we move on to the Hollywood sex scandals and wonder whether we are seeing the literal implosion of an entire industry. Give a listen.

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Manafortsplaining

Must-Reads from Magazine

Leave Jack Phillips Alone!

The limits of religious liberty.

Jack Phillips once more finds himself on the sharp end of liberal “tolerance.” He was the Colorado baker at the center of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the one who in 2012 refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. A state civil-rights commission censured Phillips and ordered him to undergo ideological retraining. But a 7-2 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court found that the commission had exhibited such overt hostility to Phillips’s religious views as to have violated the state’s “obligation of religious neutrality” under the First Amendment.

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The Lies Republicans Tell Themselves

Whatever Donald wants, he's gonna get it.

What do Republicans believe? Whatever Donald Trump tells them they should believe, it seems.

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PODCAST: A Dog’s Dinner for the Dog Days

Podcast: Snap back or new normal?

“Dog’s dinner” is a term for something that is a lot of things smushed together, and that’s what defines this podcast—we talk about commercials and elections and Thanksgiving Day balloons and Trump and other stuff. Give a listen.

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Off to the Sun

The final frontier.

In 1957, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago named Eugene Parker submitted a paper to The Astrophysical Journal, the most prestigious journal in that field.  In it, he predicted the existence of the solar wind, a stream of charged particles, streaming out from the sun in all directions. The idea was considered so ridiculous that two reviewers rejected the article. But the editor of the Astrophysical Journal, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, (one of the giants of 20th-century astrophysics, who would win the Nobel Prize in 1983) couldn’t find any flaws in the math, so he overrode the reviewers and published it. Within four years, the paper had been vindicated by the earliest space probes, and our understanding of the sun and its dynamics took a quantum leap forward

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Socialism Return

An old adversary.

For some on the right who sold books, sat behind microphones, or crafted the themes that GOP candidates deployed on the campaign trail, one word dominated in the Obama era: Socialism. Today, there is no shortage of self-criticism among conservatives who engaged in that enterprise. The public sector activism endorsed by Obama and his allies was culturally progressive—not socially reactionary, as genuinely socialist regimes tend to be. The redistributionist policies the 44th president favored were leftist, but he did not endorse collectivization or nationalization as socialists do. Conservatives critical of this period’s rhetorical excesses blame themselves for breaking down the stigma once associated with unalloyed socialism.

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