URLs du Jour

2018-02-06

■ Happy 107th Birthday to Ronald Reagan. There are a lot of articles out there, but I liked Lee Edwards' at the Daily Signal: What Made Reagan a Truly Great Communicator. Full of anecdotes, but here's a tech note:

Here is another “secret” of the Great Communicator. Before his Oval Office talks, an aide would bring the president a glass of water wrapped in a small towel. Why wrapped? Because the water was warm—almost hot—calculated to relax his vocal chords. He had adopted this procedure on the advice of a Hollywood friend who knew something about the voice—Frank Sinatra.

It also helps to have principles.


■ But let us return to our regularly scheduled programming with a look at Proverbs 16:28:

28 A perverse person stirs up conflict,
    and a gossip separates close friends.

Yet another example of the famous Dwight Eisenhower [non]quote: "Things are more like they are right now than they ever have been."


■ At NRO, Frederick Hess and Grant Addison note a recent dreadful Inside Higher Education article describing what happens When College Presidents Mistake Lib-splaining for Conservative Outreach. Using Occidental College's president Jonathan Veitch as an example:

[T]here’s a marked difference between earnest intellectual mentoring and ideologically loaded paternalism. If a college president elects to teach a serious course in conservatism, offer a tutorial on political philosophy, or conduct salons with all politically engaged student groups, terrific. But Veitch is something else entirely: another in a long line of non-conservatives presuming to define what constitutes “acceptable” conservatism. He has taken it upon himself to decide for conservative students which conservative books are worthwhile, what debates “truly matter,” and who the “really smart conservatives” are.

Amusingly, Veitch's "outreach" involved telling his subjects to read Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind. I read it myself (without it being assigned) back in my teen years; originally written in 1953, it's been updated since, but it's not a great source for understanding 21st century American conservatism.


■ At Reason, Jacob Sullum writes Trump's Critics Worry That He's Undermining Trust in the FBI, As If That's a Bad Thing.

According to a Survey Monkey poll conducted last Thursday and Friday, 38 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of the FBI, compared to 64 percent of Democrats. A "news analysis" in The New York Times blames that counterintuitive partisan divide on Donald Trump, who "has engaged in a scorched-earth assault on the pillars of the criminal justice system in a way that no other occupant of the White House has done." The Times worries that Trump is "tearing at the credibility of some of the most important institutions in American life to save himself."

The charge rings true in the sense that Trump is mendacious and unprincipled, the sort of man who would say anything for political gain. But forgive me if I have trouble feeling bad for the poor FBI. Whatever the merits of Trump's complaints about the investigation of links between his campaign and Russian agents who tried to influence the presidential election, the controversy will do some good if it makes Republicans less inclined to trust the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

A bonus URL on a related flip-flop: Rick Lowry on the disparate treatment afforded Ken Starr and Robert Mueller.


■ A very long question from Mark J. Perry at AEI: Why is LNG coming 4,500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer? It's a two-part answer, but here's a hint at the first part:

In the past two years, regulatory obstacles have led to the cancellation of two pipeline projects, which is ominous for a region that desperately needs more natural gas to make up for the shutdown of nuclear and coal plants. Moreover, there are those in the region who promote themselves as climate leaders but continually block new gas pipeline capacity.

And also the "relic from the Woodrow Wilson Administration" Jones Act.


■ And the Babylon Bee is, as usual, our go-to source for important religious news: 37 Episcopalians Remaining On Planet Vote To Stop Using Male Pronouns For God.

The last surviving members of the Episcopalian religion voted last week to stop using male pronouns for God, sources at a meeting of the Diocese of Washington, D.C. confirmed.

The 37 remaining Episcopalians on Planet Earth conducted the vote in an effort to make the last three or four Episcopal churches in the country be more inclusive, in the rare case anyone actually showed up to any of their services.

OK, satire. But the actual news on Episcopalianism isn't much different.