NR Webathon

Good News, But We Need More of the Same

National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr.

We rise and shine this morning to find we have passed $100,000 in contributions to NR’s 2019 Spring Webathon. An undeniable milestone that! But also undeniable: NR needs to raise at least $75,000 more (and more on top of that if at all possible). What motivates someone to give? There are as many reasons as there are donors — God bless them, each and every one — some of whom anticipated your curiosity by sharing their moolah-transferring raisons d’être:

• Dixie drops $100 on us and . . . maybe it signifies resignation: “All right, all right, all right already!” Well, Dixie, what’s all right is everything about you. Thanks so much.

• Mark and Kristine tag-team a $250 donation and share their familial happiness: “About to send my oldest off to college. Thankfully she is grounded and not succumbed to the views of the left. (I’ve even caught her listening to the Great Books Podcast!) So grateful to NR for clear, logical content with which we can arm her as she enters the lions’ den.”

• William went for the barrel-of-oil donation suggestion, but (and we should never say “but” regarding generosity) his contribution is for $55.22, shy of the $63.26 suggested. Assuming we’d want that difference explained, he supplies such: “I’m sending a barrel of crude. But it is North Dakota Light Sweet, which goes at almost an $8/Bbl discount to WTI partially thanks to the anti-infrastructure keep-it-in-the ground groups. Keep up the good work.” Thanks William, this is truly sweet.

• Philip finds $200 and segments his generosity: “$25 each for Williamson, Goldberg, Cooke, and McCarthy to keep pounding out their great work. And another $100 because NRO is essential daily reading for me.” It all adds up to selflessness. Thanks!

• Stephen is good for 100 bucks, and throws in a plug for NRPLUS: “I’ve been reading NR since my younger days and was a fairly early member of NRPLUS. I’ve enjoyed the call-ins and I’m especially looking forward to the Dan Crenshaw (my congressman) on the 29th. Keep up the good work!” Keeping . . . because you keep keeping.

• Big Bad Paul forks over the same amount, and speaks for a lot of people with his attending comment: “One of the things I enjoy about NR is that it’s open to a wide range of conservative viewpoints, a range that other media sources never see to acknowledge.” Bingo!

• Okay, this will be the last, because it’s hard to top: Stephen gave a thousand bucks and then throws down an amazing trump card: “I had dinner with Mr. Buckley when I was a college student at Lehigh University in the ’60s. Life-altering experience.”

We’d love to know more about that experience, Stephen (why not email us and share details if you wish?). And we’d love for folks who, whether directly or from afar, found their lives altered by what Bill Buckley did through NR, and what NR continues to do for conservatism (combatting socialism tooth and nail!), to help keep this enterprise fortified and fighting on behalf of our mutually shared beliefs. Maybe you can’t match Stephen’s grand (But, what if you can?! Maybe you can even surpass that amazing generosity!), but please consider donating s what your wallet might permit. Is it $10 or $100 or $500 or even $55.22? No matter, it will used consequentially.

Nearly 900 people have donated so far, but again: We remain far short of our $175,000 goal (given our true needs, we could have set a goal double that). So here’s the plan: You donate to the 2019 Spring Webathon so we can sock socialism in the mouth. No worry of you want to do that in old-fashioned mode: Mail your deeply appreciated contribution (made payable to “National Review”) to National Review, ATTN: Spring 2019 Webathon, 19 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036. God bless!

Economy & Business

Rahm Emanuel, Bailout Critic

Rahm Emanuel during an interview at City Hall in Chicago, Ill., June 14, 2017. (Joshua Lott/Reuters)

Here is born-against populist Rahm Emanuel writing in The Atlantic about the automobile-industry bailouts that were undertaken by the Obama administration.

It was the same story arc with the auto bailout. For decades, executives in Detroit had made indefensible decisions. They’d been selling less reliable cars. They’d never found a way to compete effectively with their foreign competition. They’d continually lost market share. But when the bottom fell out and they were forced to ask middle-class taxpayers for a bailout, they never took responsibility. Most of the top brass kept their jobs. And once they’d recovered, they returned to business as usual. The middle class was once again expected to foot the bailout while the execs kept on like it had never happened.

And here is Obama chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel — who is the same guy, as it turns out!—talking about the automobile-industry bailouts that were undertaken by the Obama administration:

They’ve made changes and now, as you know, General Motors is going to have an IPO. And most importantly, they’re going to keep open factories that they were planning on closing.

So we’re righting an industry that was not doing itself, or the American people or its workers, the right thing. So it was a way of getting them to do the changes that they had postponed.

These accounts of the same episode by the same man are inconsistent. Either the industry was obliged to “do the changes” or it “kept on like it had never happened.” Either the industry was “righted” or it was not.

There is much that is wrong with this. It is the case that GM does not make great cars, but the most important causes of its cashflow problems were pension liabilities and troubles at GMAC — which is to say, the parts of its business arrangements that Rahm Emanuel and the administration he served were intent on protecting from reform to the extent that it was possible to do so. Indeed, critics at the time argued, not without reason, that the government had not so much bailed out GM as the UAW — and that it had subsidized Cerberus through GMAC.

Nor is it the case, as Emanuel writes, that the top brass kept their jobs. GM’s CEO and chairman was forced out, and most of the directors were replaced. If the government did not like how GM was run in the immediate post-bailout period, it has no one to blame but itself: The federal government owned 68 percent of the company at the time and appointed four of the five new board members. If Obama’s chief of staff wanted a bigger bloodbath in the C-suites, he didn’t say much about it at the time.

Emanuel’s account here is misleading. If we assume that he is not a moron—and he is not; he has many defects, but rank stupidity does not seem to be one of them—it is intentionally misleading.

Rahm Emanuel himself was right there. It is notable that he was a good deal less bold in the flesh than he is in print.

And neither is it the case that this is entirely a story about market share: The Chrysler group’s share of the U.S. market going into the financial crisis (11 percent) was about the same as it had been in the golden days of the early 1960s (10.2 percent, 9.2 percent, and 11.7 percent, respectively, in 1961, 1962, and 1963). Many companies thrive with low market share. Ford seems content to let its share of the U.S. conventional passenger car market decline to whatever zero plus Mustang sales equals, because it does so much better in the truck market.

But who cares about the details when there is a middle class to be flattered and serviced?

Perhaps Emanuel was a raging class warrior behind the scenes in the Obama administration, venting his spleen in frustration to . . . Tim Geithner and Peter Orszag. But that is not easy to imagine.

Economy & Business

Tariffs and the Fed’s Limited Knowledge

President Trump has said that the Fed should keep interest rates low or even cut them to help the U.S. win the trade war. The Wall Street Journal reports that Eric Rosengren, head of the Boston Fed, thinks that tariffs could instead lead to higher interest rates.

Michael Derby writes:

Long-running tariffs could push up inflation and become a bigger factor for the job market, and the Fed wouldn’t shrug this off, he said. “It’s going to be really hard to distinguish [the tariff impact] particularly in tight labor market,” so the Fed would have to focus on the headline number and proceed accordingly, Mr. Rosengren explained.

Here’s what I gather Rosengren is thinking: Many economists believe that tariffs will push the price level higher. Rosengren appears to think that the Fed should not necessarily tighten money to keep inflation in check when that inflation is caused by tariffs. I assume that’s because he thinks that higher tariffs are a kind of negative supply shock to the economy, and that the right response by a central bank to a negative supply shock is to let them increase prices and decrease economic production, rather than to raise interest rates so as to prevent the inflation but make the hit to production worse.

But he also thinks, I infer, that it will be hard for the Fed to determine the mix of causes for an increase in prices and that it should therefore just try to clamp down on it even at the risk of running too tight a policy.

What Rosengren is running up against is the knowledge problem in monetary policy. It’s a good reason for the Fed to consider switching to a different approach that does not require it to know things it can’t.

National Security & Defense

U. S. Intelligence Agencies Briefing the 2020 Campaigns on Cybersecurity

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

The FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are giving unclassified briefings to presidential campaigns about cybersecurity and espionage issues they may face ahead of the 2020 election, and the “best practices for mitigating risks.” According to CNN, the campaigns for former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro and businessman Andrew Yang confirmed they received the briefing.

It is likely that the briefing covered “spearphishing,” which involves sending deceptive messages to everyone in an organization and hope that at least one person chooses to follow the emailed instructions. One tech firm argued that the vast majority of the 2020 campaigns are falling short on the use of email authentication and advanced e-mail security. The conclusion is that the campaigns are well prepared for last cycle’s attacks, but not for the new attacks coming down the road.

Today, 83 percent of the top candidates rely solely on the security controls built into their email platforms—almost exclusively Gmail and Microsoft Office 365. The good news is that these controls have advanced to the point where they can weed out the kind of malicious links and malware to which Podesta fell victim. The bad news is that they’re utterly defenseless on their own against today’s most advanced forms of phishing.

One of the lesser-observed aspects of the 2016 hacking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign was how much could have been prevented with just one or two different decisions in response to a spearphishing attack.

According to the Muller report, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army — known by the abbreviation GRU — hacked into the emails of John Podesta, the chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and the DNC through “spearphishing.”

On March 19, 2016, Podesta was sent an email that said

Hi John

Someone just used your password to try ˜to sign in to your Google Account john.podesta@gmail.com.

Google stopped this sign-in attempt. You should change your password immediately.

CHANGE PASSWORD –

It offered a link to a site that looked like a password-reset form . . . where the bad guys could steal his new password, log into his account, and copy all of the emails in there.

Podesta’s chief-of-staff forwarded the email to the operations help desk of Clinton’s campaign in Brooklyn, where a staffer wrote back concluding, “This is a legitimate email. John needs to change his password immediately.” (The staffer contends his response was a typographical error; he intended to write that it was NOT a legitimate email. That seemingly small error had far-reaching consequences.)

In an effort to prevent his email from getting hacked, Podesta opened the door for his email to get hacked. While ignoring the message wouldn’t have prevented the Internet Research Agency from posting all of their divisive messages and memes on social media, it would at least have hindered the GRU hacking of the e-mails and the posting of them on WikiLeaks.

There’s an old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Similarly, an institution’s computer network is only as secure as the most gullible people using it, and unfortunately for the Clinton campaign, that turned out to be Podesta and the help-desk staffer.

U.S.

Misunderstanding the Abortion Debate at New York Magazine

(Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

Abortion is Morally Good ” is Sarah Jones’s headline, but her article doesn’t live up, or down, to the title, offering as it does nothing in the way of argument for that claim. She makes two points that deserve comment.

First, she criticizes, as both wrong and politically unhelpful, rhetoric that defends legal abortion while suggesting that abortion “is sad, a thing to be avoided and disliked.” People who speak thus — even Alyssa Milano — “lend credence to right-wing arguments against abortion.” Jones is right about that: If abortion is something to be avoided, after all, it is because it is the unjust taking of a human life, which suggests that there’s something wrong with allowing it. (Nobody talks about appendectomies as sad or to be avoided.)

You’d think, though, that Jones would grapple with why so many people who think abortion should be legal use the rhetoric she deplores. One of those reasons, it seems clear, is that the view that abortion is immoral or at least unfortunate is much more widely shared than the view that it should be illegal. Gallup asks people whether they “personally believe that in general,” abortion “is morally acceptable or morally wrong”; its most recent finding is that 43 percent say it’s acceptable and 48 percent say it’s wrong. Presumably even some of the people who say it’s “acceptable” would shrink from saying it’s “morally good”; some of them probably even agree that it’s a thing to be avoided or disliked.

Jones concludes, “There is no compromise, not on the personhood of women. You can’t find middle ground. Invite them into your big tent, and you threaten the most vulnerable people inside it.” If you exclude compromise and middle ground from your tent — that’s what she means by “them,” I take it — then your tent is not going to be close to a majority of the public in the country or in many states. It’s apparently not even going to include Alyssa Milano. On this point, Jones and I apparently have common ground: We both want a smaller tent for supporters of abortion.

Second: Jones claims that opponents of abortion “weigh the suffering of women against the prospective life of the fetus, and favor the fetus in the end . . .  To abortion opponents, the potential person seems to be the one true innocent in the world. The woman carrying it, though, is a different matter altogether. She can make mistakes . . . ”

Jones is not trying to pass an ideological Turing test here. But what the heck, I’ll give an answer, one that nearly every reflective pro-lifer I’ve ever known would affirm. We pro-lifers don’t “weigh the suffering of women against the prospective life of the fetus,” especially since we don’t regard the human being in the fetal stage of development as a “prospective” life in the first place — since, you know, pro-lifers don’t think that way. (Nor, by the way, do authors of human embryology textbooks or others who know the biological facts concerning human embryogenesis and development.) Similarly, we do not believe it would be justified to kill a woman (or man) to provide a benefit, even a very important benefit such as good health, for a baby, regardless of whether the person killed had conducted himself in a wholly praiseworthy or disreputable way.

The metaphor of “weighing,” though it is quite commonly used, could hardly be more inapposite to the moral judgment that pro-lifers have reached, which is just as well, since the weighing of lives against one another is an enterprise best avoided. It is much better to follow this principle: We should never deliberately target for death any peaceable human being, nor should we as a society permit such targeting.

Economy & Business

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Joins the War on Cauliflower

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Capitol Hill, February 27, 2019 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

A few weeks ago, I noted that Louisiana’s state legislature is contemplating legislation that would bar makers of cauliflower rice from labeling their product “rice,” contending that consumers will get confused. Instead, the rice growers want the product to be labeled . . . “riced cauliflower.”

But Louisiana isn’t the only spot where cauliflower is under fire. In a stream-of-consciousness discussion of composting, the Green New Deal, and community gardens, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lamented cauliflower as symbol of colonialism.

“Looks like they’ve got composting going on, which is so awesome, too, because composting is really hard to do in a neighborhood like this. We just don’t have the pick ups and the ease of it that a lot of other communities have. So that’s really how you do it, right, that is such a core component of the Green New Deal, is having all of these projects make sense in a cultural context. And it’s an area that I — we get the most pushback on, because people say, like, why do you need to do that? That’s too hard. But when you really think about it, when someone says that it’s too hard to do a green space that grows yucca instead of, I don’t know, cauliflower or something, what you’re doing is that you’re taking a colonial approach to environmentalism, and that is why a lot of communities of color get resistant to certain environmentalist movements, because they come with the colonial lens on them. And it should be no surprise that sometimes a lot of these projects don’t work out occasionally because our communities are naturally attuned to live in an environmentally conscious way.”

Or, you know, the decision to grow cauliflower might be a reflection of what plants will grow best in a garden with that temperature range, soil types, and rainfall level. Some yucca varieties can handle a range of temperature and rainfall, some can’t. All of this information is a Google search away, and one can fairly wonder why a U.S. congresswoman is weighing in on what vegetables should be grown in citizens’ gardens.

Then again, perhaps it is fitting. Ocasio-Cortez has a lot of opinions on the right way to do things, and she’s eager to share them with everyone, including a signature proposal that calls for requiring the upgrade or replacement of every building in the country in a ten-year period. In her worldview, there is no detail of life that is beyond the scope of the government’s authority, including what vegetable you plant in your garden.

It’s odd. Some would argue that as a freshman House member, Ocasio-Cortz is covered excessively, even obsessively. But when she says something asinine, her comments only interest the right-of-center media.

Economy & Business

Annals of Inequality

Jessica Chastain, who sometimes lectures the world about “wage equality” while making films financed by the money billionaire tech tycoon Larry Ellison gives his kids, has purchased a lovely new home off Central Park for about $9 million.

On the Upper West Side, some animals are more equal than others.

Politics & Policy

New York Times Op-Ed: ‘Abortion Saves Lives’

The New York Times building in New York City (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

A New York Times op-ed yesterday exemplified the abortion-rights movement’s Orwellian effort to redefine the terms of the abortion debate and obscure the reality of what takes place in abortion procedures.

“Pregnancy Kills. Abortion Saves Lives.” was the headline of the piece written by Warren Hern, one of the country’s most prominent practitioners of late-term abortions, including elective abortions past the point at which a fetus is able to survive outside his or her mother.

The entire article is a particularly egregious example of a common tactic used to rationalize abortion at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason. The overwhelming majority of these arguments hinge on denying the fact that abortion is killing. Often, those who support abortion rights fail to so much as openly state this premise, let alone defend it.

From basic human biology alone, we know that every abortion procedure necessarily ends a human life. Asserting that this procedure “saves lives,” then, is begging the question. Abortion saves whose lives? “Pregnancy is dangerous; abortion can be lifesaving,” Hern writes. His unstated assumption is that a woman’s life is the only human life at stake.

Not only does Hern engage in willful deception about what takes place in an abortion, but he also entirely disregards that his ideological opponents believe abortion kills human beings. He intentionally ignores the heart of the conflict over abortion. As a policy matter, it is a question of competing rights. Which right takes precedence: the unborn human being’s right to life, or the mother’s right to autonomy even over the individual life inside her? Any case for abortion that ignores the reality of unborn human life isn’t a case at all; it’s an ideologically motivated assertion that fails to address the central question of the debate.

There are also those who promote abortion rights by outright denying the reality of human life in the womb. “When a woman is pregnant, that is not a human being inside of her,” said CNN contributor Christine Quinn on Chris Cuomo’s primetime show earlier this month. “That is a part of the mother.” This scientifically illiterate hogwash is a necessary crutch for those unwilling to admit that they believe women ought to have the right to end a distinct human life that is not part of her but rather inside of her.

Neither an embryo nor a fetus is part of his or her mother, nor are the lives of these distinct human beings ever saved by abortion. Surely Hern, who has made a career out of performing abortions on fetuses developed to the point where they look strikingly like newborn infants, understands that reality better than most.

Law & the Courts

Avenatti Stole Stormy Daniels’s Book Advance, According to Indictment

Attorney Michael Avenatti makes an initial appearance on charges of bank and wire fraud as he arrives at federal court in Santa Ana, Calif., April 1, 2019. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti was indicted by federal prosecutors Wednesday for stealing the identity of his former client, Stormy Daniels, in order to claim more than $300,000 she was owed for a tell-all book about her efforts to expose President Trump.

In the indictment, prosecutors for the Southern District of New York accuse Avenatti of forging Daniels’ signature on a letter instructing her literary agent to wire her book advance money to an account he controlled. Daniels, an adult-film star born Stephanie Clifford, is not identified by name but the timeline and other details laid out in the document make clear that she is the client in question.

“The literary agent then wired $148,750 to the account, which AVENATTI promptly began spending for his own purposes, including on airfare, hotels, car services, restaurants and meal delivery, online retailers, payroll for his law firm and another business he owned, and insurance,” the indictment reads.

Avenatti, who rose to national prominence representing Daniels in her affair-related suit against President Trump, maintains his innocence.

“No monies relating to Ms. Daniels were ever misappropriated or mishandled. She received millions of dollars worth of legal services and we spent huge sums in expenses. She directly paid only $100.00 for all that she received. I look forward to a jury hearing the evidence,” he wrote on Twitter after the chargers were made public.

The new indictment comes as Avenatti is facing separate extortion charges brought by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles in connection with his alleged efforts to blackmail Nike. The charges were brought after Nike lawyers provided a recording to the FBI in which Avenatti demands $25 million in exchange for his silence about illegal payments the company allegedly made to high-school basketball players to induce them to attend Nike-sponsored colleges.

Los Angeles prosecutors also indicted Avenatti last month for embezzling millions of dollars from his clients, one of whom was a mentally-ill paraplegic who won a suit against the city of Los Angeles but never received his settlement because Avenatti allegedly stole it. The charges ending in Los Angeles carry a maximum sentence of up to 300 years in prison.

Daniels first raised concerns about Avenatti in November, alleging that he filed a defamation suit against Trump without her consent while stealing money donated to her via a crowd-funding platform.

“For months I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense. He has repeatedly ignored those requests,” Daniels said in the November statement. “Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf. I learned about it on Twitter.”

The defamation suit Avenatti allegedly filed without Daniels’s consent backfired and she was forced to pay the president’s legal bills.

Health Care

Single-Payer Politics: Choose Your Own Dead End

Jon Walker writes in The Week that single-payer enthusiasts need to change their tactics, because trying to placate doctors and hospitals creates insoluble political problems: By letting hospitals and specialists keep so much money, it makes it very difficult to make Medicare-for-all a clear financial winner for everyone else . . .  A strategy that gives hospitals so much money you need big tax increases but not enough to buy their support is a loser. Presumably, though, those tactics were adopted because the alternatives — even bigger tax increases, or a frontal attack on hospitals and doctors — look like even bigger losers.

What Walker’s analysis suggests, then, is something he doesn’t want to face: There is no set of tactics that is going to make single-payer a near-term or medium-term likelihood.

Economy & Business

Millennials Shouldn’t Blame Boomers for Their Economic Struggles

My latest column for Bloomberg Opinion takes up a new book on millennials, Baby Boomers, and the economy:

As the age profile of Republican voters has risen, a certain note of complaint about young people has become a more prominent part of conservative conversation: Why are millennials so entitled and socialist? Maybe they should quit buying so much avocado toast and pay down their student loans instead. So it’s refreshing to read a book by a right-of-center author who takes the side of the generation born from 1981 through 1996. The millennials aren’t whiners, Wall Street Journal editorialist Joseph Sternberg writes in “The Theft of a Decade”: They have legitimate complaints about economic trends that have hit them particularly hard . . .

Politics & Policy

Northam’s Medical School: After Extensive Review, We’ve Figured Out . . . Almost Nothing

Ralph Northam’s yearbook page from 1984 (Obtained by National Review)

The photo of a person in blackface and a person in a Klan hood on Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s medical-school yearbook page will remain an eternal mystery, according to Eastern Virginia Medical School. Shortly after the controversy arose, the school launched an investigation, but this morning, administrators announced that months of inquiries had determined nothing new about the photo.

“With respect to the Photograph on Governor Northam’s personal page, we could not conclusively determine the identity of either individual depicted in the Photograph,” the medical school said its summary of the findings. “The Governor himself has made inconsistent public statements in this regard. No individual that we interviewed has told us from personal knowledge that the Governor is in the photograph, and no individual with knowledge has come forward to us to report that the Governor is in the photograph.”

The report also said that they did not find any information that the photograph was placed on Northam’s personal page in error and that they could not conclusively determine the origins of the photograph.

Northam’s yearbook photo now ranks alongside the Easter Island statues, the crystal skulls, the Voynich Manuscript, and the Antikythera mechanism as one of those mysterious artifacts that no one on earth can possibly explain. The picture just appeared on his page one day in the ancient era of the mid 1980s, and not even Virginia’s greatest experts can formulate a plausible explanation of how such a racist image could possibly have ended up on the page of a man whose yearbook declared he had the nickname “Coonman.” Clearly, this is the most enigmatic and baffling image to spontaneously appear, without any indication of human activity, since the Shroud of Turin.

The most interesting conclusion of the report is that the medical school knew about the photo for many years and chose to ignore it.

The probe found that two EVMS presidents, including current president Richard Homan, were told about the racist photo while Northam was running for political offices and decided not to make it public.

“We understand President Homan’s reasoning was EVMS should not become involved, or be seen to become involved, in an election as it is a public body and a public institution, and that EVMS did not not want there to be any suggestion that it had tried to influence Governor Northam in any respect by calling the photograph to his attention,” the report says.

We all have to stand up to racism . . . unless, you know, it might jeopardize the election chances of one of our alumni; then it’s okay to pretend you didn’t see it.

Culture

Twelve Things that Caught My Eye Today (May 22, 2019)

1. Iraqi Christian leaders plead with US, Iran to sort things out

2.  1.7 million human embryos created for IVF thrown away

3. Washington is first state to allow for composting of human bodies

4. Jeff Jacoby: Is abortion on the way out?

5. Chelsea Patterson Sobolik in USA Today:

No one should be forced into lifelong parenting if they don’t want to take on that role. My own birth mother was unable to parent me. However, she didn’t abort me in the womb. She made the brave and courageous decision for me, and allowed me to be adopted by a couple in a position to love and raise a child. I’m able to advocate for the lives of others, particularly for the little ones in the womb, who can’t speak for themselves.

And her book, Longing for Motherhood, is beautiful.

6.

7. Bishop Robert Barron: It’s time for Catholics (and all religious people) to wake up to the danger of the California Confession bill

8. Andy Ferguson on Knock Down the House

Also, if you’ve not read his Atlantic pieces since joining them, print them out for Memorial Day weekend or something. They are all worth reading, he always is.

9. Speaking of the Atlantic, Sohrab Ahmari writes: Abolish the priesthood? Count me out.

10. Speaking of priests, a reflection, even on Twitter:

And a homily for today on the vine and the branches

11. The September 11th Museum and St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Siblings, years apart

12.  High school valedictorian earns more than $3M in scholarships amid homelessness, loss of father

Law & the Courts

Watch: Rich Lowry’s Five Reasons Why Roe v. Wade Should Be Overturned

In his latest video, National Review editor in chief Rich Lowry lists the five reasons why Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, is a “travesty that should be overturned.”

Lowry explains the misbegotten legal precedent, concluding that the Court should overturn “this extraconstitutional blot on its jurisprudence.”

Elections

Rats Are Taking over New York City. Thanks, de Blasio!

Probably not the headline you want to run in the first full week of your presidential campaign:

The New York Times, 5/22/19

Fix the subways? Bill de Blasio can’t even fix the potholes. Fix the potholes? He can’t even keep the rats at bay. I suppose he could fill the potholes with the rats.

De Blasio’s presidential quest would on the surface appear to be a bit of a curiosity given that after considerable pressing of flesh in Iowa and New Hampshire he remains at 0 percent in the polls. Where do you go with that? If I work hard, I think I can double my support? Also, why would he give the Post a stick with which to whomp him upside the head? Why do you keep hitting yourself, Bill?

Ah, but maybe de Blasio is playing four-dimensional chess here, though. He could be pioneering an entirely new style of presidential campaigning, one based on threats instead of promises: Elect me president or I shall unleash my tide of vermin on you, America! Laugh no more, fools, I have a rodent army at my disposal and lots of bridges and tunnels connecting to the mainland! Moooh-hoo-hoo-hoo-ha-HAW-ha!!!” (Peels off Mission: Impossible mask. Face looks pretty much the same underneath). No more goofy, incompetent Bill de Blasio! Now buckle up for the devastating efficiency of Burgermeister Warren Wilhelm!!! Did you think I killed that groundhog by accident?

Most Popular

Film & TV

A Sad Finale

Spoilers Ahead. Look, I share David’s love of Game of Thrones. But I thought the finale was largely a bust, for failings David mostly acknowledges in passing (but does not allow to dampen his ardor). The problems with the finale were largely the problems of this entire season. Characters that had been ... Read More