Today's Standard

• July 26, 2017

Senate Will Likely Modify Russia Sanctions Bill to Pass it Before House Recess

Tennessee senator Bob Corker calls stripping out North Korea sanctions a 'timing issue.'
11:31 AM, Jul 26, 2017
The Senate is likely to remove North Korea sanctions from a sweeping bill that overwhelmingly passed the House on Tuesday, the chairman of the Senate’s foreign relations panel said, in an effort to get the package passed before August recess. Read more

Prufrock: The Art of Waugh, Italy's Majestic Marble Quarries, and a Life of Papa

9:30 AM, Jul 26, 2017
The best in books and arts from around the web, including: Warhol found in tube in Alice Cooper’s storage, Mandela book cancelled, a history of psychedelic drugs, and more. Read more

Richard Dawkins Discovers What You Just Can't Say

Going after Christianity is fine. Islam, not so much.
6:52 AM, Jul 26, 2017
Poor Richard. Richard Dawkins, that is. The British evolutionary biologist and professional atheist devoted years of his life to blasting Christianity, and the intellectual left couldn’t shovel enough praise onto his head. But more recently he has begun blasting Islam, and uh-oh! The Berkeley-based public radio station KPFA, the San Francisco Bay Area’s auditory citadel of intellectual leftism, last week canceled its scheduled hosting of a live discussion and book signing of Dawkins latest work, Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist. Read more

It's 'Business as Usual' at DoJ

White House Watch: Obamacare repeal inches forward and everything is just fine at Justice.
6:37 AM, Jul 26, 2017
Donald Trump may not like Jeff Sessions, but it's not clear that he can replace him, either. Read more

The Other Russia, Part III: Trump, Russia, and the Twilight of the West

Part 3 of an interview with Russian journalist, politician, and filmmaker Vladimir Kara-Murza.
6:15 AM, Jul 26, 2017
Vladimir Kara-Murza: “Please don’t equate our country and the kleptocratic, unelected regime in the Kremlin. It’s not about Russia or the Russians, it’s about the behavior of the Putin regime. Sanctions should also be directed not at Russia but at the Putin regime.” Read more

Long Playing

From the July 31, 2017, issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
5:30 AM, Jul 26, 2017
My wife and I are record collectors. At the moment, we own 1,151 of them (I have an app on my phone cataloguing the collection), and that number has been growing at a good clip. There’s no real organizing principle—it’s a diverse collection of rock, classical, jazz, soul, and even a fair bit of vintage country. We like to think the collection embodies our very sophisticated tastes, but no one is this dedicated to music without a love that is somewhat irrational. Read more

The Leaker-in-Chief

If Anthony Scaramucci wants to stop the gushing, we have an idea where he can start.
5:15 AM, Jul 26, 2017
It’s not that the White House doesn’t have a first-order problem with the leaking of sensitive information. It does. But the most serious and damaging leaks rarely originate from the White House communications office, and for a simple reason: Political comms officers typically don’t have anything to leak, their purview being official messaging and prefabricated statements, not sensitive or classified information. Read more

House Passes Bipartisan Sanctions Bill

The bill that originally focused on Iran now includes measures against Russia and North Korea.
5:43 PM, Jul 25, 2017
The legislation—originally a Senate-based, Iran-focused package—has been mired in technical and partisan disputes for weeks. Trump administration officials have also voiced concerns about parts of the bill, including a congressional review clause that forces the president to obtain approval from Congress before altering Russia sanctions. Read more

Pence Breaks Tie to Advance Health Bill in Senate

McCain, Johnson, and protesters make for a dramatic scene in upper chamber.
4:48 PM, Jul 25, 2017
It was only a vote to open debate on Obamacare repeal, and Mitch McConnell insisted the bill was a vessel for amendments, but tensions ran high on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Read more

Kushner Meets With House Committee on 'Range of Issues'

Rep. Mike Conaway describes the president's son-in-law as 'straightforward' in his discussion with the group investigating Russian influence.
3:45 PM, Jul 25, 2017
The leaders of the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe emerged satisfied from a three-hour meeting with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, but left open the possibility of further questioning. Read more

Does the Democrats' Better Way Run Through Berryville?

3:32 PM, Jul 25, 2017
On Monday, the congressional leaders of the Democratic party announced their 2018 campaign agenda, modestly titled “A Better Deal.” And it was no coincidence that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Elizabeth Warren visited Berryville, Virginia for the big reveal. Read more

Gripe Sessions

Hosted by Eric Felten.
3:13 PM, Jul 25, 2017
Today on the Daily Standard podcast, senior writer Michael Warren discusses what happens if President Trump succeeds in shaming Attorney General Jeff Sessions out of office. Read more

GOP Senators Rally Around 'Beleaguered' Sessions

There are signs of growing distance between the president and his party in Congress.
2:55 PM, Jul 25, 2017
On Tuesday, multiple Republican senators spoke out in protest of Trump’s continued attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Read more

Senate Has More Work to Do Before Vote on Russia Sanctions

The upper chamber might run out of time to pass the legislation before the House recesses.
9:35 AM, Jul 25, 2017
The wide-ranging legislation began months ago as a Senate bill focused on Iran sanctions. Since then, it has faced a series of amendments, technical disputes, and partisan squabbles involving both parties and chambers. Trump administration officials have simultaneously raised concerns about portions of the bill, including a section that forces the president to obtain congressional approval before modifying Russia sanctions. Read more

Prufrock: The Return of the Sacred in Music, Ella Fitzgerald at 100, and What Congress Does Well

9:30 AM, Jul 25, 2017
The best in books and arts from around the web, including: Sven Birkerts on writing, Victorian women translating Greek, day in the life of a Hollywood dialect coach, and more. Read more

The Other Russia, Part II: The Coming Storm

Part 2 of an interview with Russian journalist, politician, and filmmaker Vladimir Kara-Murza.
8:28 AM, Jul 25, 2017
Vladimir Kara-Murza: "For now they can still send riot police and the national guard to beat people up and arrest them and jail them as they have been doing. But when this stream turns into a river, when this becomes hundreds of thousands across the country, there’s nothing they’ll be able to do." Read more

Olive Garden: Cheap in More Ways Than One

7:51 AM, Jul 25, 2017
One thing that everyone ought to be able to agree on about the Olive Garden and its 844 chain-Italian restaurants is that the food there is pretty cheap (“value-oriented” is the favored way of describing the cuisine). Another thing that almost everyone ought to be able to agree on is that is that Olive Garden’s parent corporation’s in-house legal department is also pretty cheap. Read more

Is Jeff Sessions Toast?

White House Watch: And if he is, who would want to be the next AG?
6:54 AM, Jul 25, 2017
Anthony Scaramucci tells CNN that the president and his AG “need to speak and determine what the future of the relationship looks like.” It’s unlikely to be a good relationship if Trump continues to publicly humiliate Sessions, as he did in a Monday morning tweet referring to his AG as “beleaguered.” Read more

Harvard Finds a Scapegoat

From the July 31, 2017, issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
5:30 AM, Jul 25, 2017
It looks like the finale for the final clubs. A Harvard faculty committee released a report last week recommending that all fraternities, sororities, and similarly “exclusionary” single-sex social organizations be phased out by the spring of 2022. The committee determined that it would not be enough for these organizations to go co-ed; the campus must be rid of them completely. Read more

Republicans Prepare to Take Next Step on Health Care Blindfolded

It's still unclear what legislation they'll try to rally round—if they can even get that far.
5:15 AM, Jul 25, 2017
Senate Republicans still don't have 50 votes to pass any piece of legislation dealing with Obamacare, but they may nevertheless vote to proceed to debate on health care legislation Tuesday with no apparent endgame in sight. Read more