Today's Standard

• July 20, 2017

The Substandard on Talking Apes, Star Wars Fantasies, and 'Driverless' Cars

10:59 AM, Jul 20, 2017
On this week’s episode, the Substandard discusses War for Planet of the Apes. Should Andy Serkis get an Oscar nom for best actor? The hosts share their innermost Star Wars fantasies. Sonny scolds Vic for getting his son a graphic novel that’s extremely graphic. And JVL turns into Red Hulk when he shares his opinions on Tesla (the car, not the scientist or the band). Read more

Prufrock: Tolstoy's Hypocrisy, Spain's Three-Hour Lunches, and Remembering Britain's Talking Mongoose

9:30 AM, Jul 20, 2017
The best in books and arts from around the web, including: The life and work of A. R. Ammons, Andrew Ferguson on Ring Lardner, selling art online, and more. Read more

'Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down'

How John McCain rallied his fellow POWs during the Vietnam War.
9:17 AM, Jul 20, 2017
One morning as he stood at the door, watching through the cracks, Al Stafford saw a POW on crutches being led slowly across the yard by a guard. The man had shockingly white hair, almost as though he had suffered from some traumatizing fright. Stafford knew that the man had to be John McCain. Nobody else in the Navy had hair like that. Read more

Trump: AG Sessions Is Being 'Unfair'

White House Watch: The Senate keeps pushing on repeal and Trump says maybe he shouldn't have hired Jeff Sessions.
7:35 AM, Jul 20, 2017
“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” Trump told the Times. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair—and that’s a mild word—to the president.” Read more

Can Political Poetry Matter?

A recent collection clarifies the difference between effective and feeble political poetry.
7:10 AM, Jul 20, 2017
At the beginning of the year, just in time for the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, Boston Review published a poetry chapbook called Poems for Political Disaster. Collecting works by 36 poets, nearly all of which are published there for the first time, the book is a chance, according to the foreword by former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, for “American vision makers . . . to make way through the infamous ‘Wall’ that has been propped up as one of the key symbols of and for the new you—America.” In other words, a chance to complain about American politics, and especially Donald Trump. Read more

Frozen Folly

From the July 24, 2017, issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
6:20 AM, Jul 20, 2017
Dreams of a Northwest Passage connecting America to Asia tantalized empire builders from the earliest days of New World exploration. But after the Napoleonic Wars, the British turned this fascination into an obsession. Sending out the fleet to explore new trade routes kept the Royal Navy busy and injected new capital into exploration. The rage for trade gripped Victorian England with gusto. Read more

They're Out to Get Her?

Nancy MacLean explains how the libertarian Koch-topus is ruining America and killing her book because she dared to uncover the truth.
6:10 AM, Jul 20, 2017
The Duke University historian's book, "Democracy in Chains," is a confused conspiracy theory about how libertarians are trying to take over America. And now MacLean says the libertarians are out to get her, for daring to tell the truth. Read more

Are You Ready for 'Feminist Geography'?

The SJW's have taken over geography now, too.
5:45 AM, Jul 20, 2017
Two college geography professors are urging their colleagues not to cite geography research done only by straight white men. Relying on the scholarly efforts of pale males who mate with females perpetuates “white heteromasculinism,” say geographers Carrie Mott and Daniel Cockayne. Read more

Experimenting on the Young

From the July 24, 2017, issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
5:40 AM, Jul 20, 2017
Today, a youth transgender craze is sweeping the nation, and the elites here in my state are fully on board. The Minnesota Department of Education, the State High School League, and Gov. Mark Dayton heartily embrace it. The Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools have policies allowing students to use the bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers of the opposite sex. Meanwhile, a Twin Cities organization called “Transforming Families” announced last year that its youngest transgender support group​—​for kids ages 4 through 8​—​has about 25 members. Read more

Little Coffee Shop of Horrors

From the July 24, 2017, issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
5:10 AM, Jul 20, 2017

The online title of an op-ed in the New York Times recently caught our attention: “Racism Is Everywhere, So Why Not Move South?” The observation that the American South isn’t the backward place frequently portrayed by our entertainment industry is not a new one. Nor are appalling expressions of racism totally unheard of in non-Southern cities commonly thought to be progressive—Philadelphia, say, or Chicago. But the acknowledgment of these realities doesn’t ordinarily turn up in the Times, so we read the piece with interest.

 Read more

Senator John McCain Diagnosed with Brain Tumor

8:21 PM, Jul 19, 2017
Arizona Senator John McCain, following surgery to treat a blood clot above his eye, announced through his office that a brain tumor known as glioblastoma was found. Read more

McConnell: Senate Will Move on Health Care Next Week in Some Way

But what language will the senators vote on? Meh. TBD.
5:07 PM, Jul 19, 2017
“It’s pretty obvious we’ve had difficulty getting 50 votes to proceed” to formal consideration of Obamacare repeal legislation, the Kentucky Republican told reporters after a meeting at the White House. “But what I want to disabuse any of you of is the notion that we will not have that vote next week. We’re going to vote on the motion to proceed to the bill next week.” Read more

Russia's War of Inches

How Putin's Russia uses client states, shadow armies, and shifty borders.
4:50 PM, Jul 19, 2017
The Russian government would rather ask for forgiveness than permission. Its foreign policy for years has depended on establishing “facts on the ground.” Once the Kremlin’s forces or its allies take what they want, the Foreign Ministry is happy to commit to accords that cement their aggression in place. Read more

Cruz: Trump's Iran Deal Certification a 'Serious Mistake'

Other senators want Trump administration to crack down on the Islamic Republic's non-nuclear activities.
3:55 PM, Jul 19, 2017
Texas senator Ted Cruz dubbed the Trump administration’s certification that Iran is fully implementing the 2015 nuclear deal a “serious mistake” Wednesday. Read more

Politics is a Team Sport

Hosted by Eric Felten.
3:54 PM, Jul 19, 2017
Today on the Daily Standard podcast, executive editor Fred Barnes talks about why Senate Republicans fumbled health-care reform so badly. Read more

White House Renews Push to Repeal Obamacare

Trump to meet with Senate Republicans at the White House on Wednesday.
12:35 PM, Jul 19, 2017
In addition, Mike Lee, the conservative Utah senator who on Monday announced he would join Kansas senator Jerry Moran in opposing the BCRA, had lunch with Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday and later that day spoke with Trump on the phone. Both Trump and Pence discussed health care with Lee. Read more

Prufrock: Jane Austen Tenner, Kermit the Frog Fired, and the Value of the Humanities

9:30 AM, Jul 19, 2017
The best in books and arts from around the web, including: Inside Facebook’s moderation center, the art of tennis, Andy Warhol’s dog, and more. Read more

Cursed Be The Machines, For They Shall Inherit The Earth

Ask Matt Labash, whose column is not an automated process.
6:55 AM, Jul 19, 2017
In the interest of keeping readers awake, I will not prattle on about the perils of perpetually asking algorithms to do for us what we’ve traditionally done for ourselves. Nor on the science of the benefits of people feeling useful, of not feeling extraneous, and of having purpose. Except to say that hardly a day goes by that my email inbox isn’t larded up with some new clickbait doomsday scenario about all the jobs that will disappear in the next 10 to 30 years, due to algorithms and automation. Read more

Petty Cash

From the July 24, 2017, issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
6:30 AM, Jul 19, 2017
I’m a man who uses a tea bag twice, and tells himself that the tea often tastes better on the second use of the bag. I go out of my way to buy gas for my car at a station where it is usually 20 to 35 cents a gallon less than at a much closer station. When I discover red grapes or tangerines at a dollar cheaper per pound than the usual price at my nearby supermarket, I refrain from doing my touchdown dance, but I do find myself quietly pleased. Read more

How Trump's Battle for Tax Reform Will Be Fought

As health-care reform dies in the Senate, the administration is gearing up to try to fix the tax code.
6:17 AM, Jul 19, 2017
Simplifying and slimming the federal tax code was a major campaign promise for Donald Trump, who made regulatory reform and “massive” middle-class tax cuts the first legislative priority on his post-election 100-day plan. We’re closer to day 200 of the Trump presidency now, but a tax reform timeline is starting to take shape. Read more
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