Today's Standard

• May 25, 2017

Iran Sanctions Bill Passes Out of Senate Committee Overwhelmingly

Vocal opposition by John Kerry did not keep the legislation from having broad bipartisan support.
6:25 PM, May 25, 2017
A tweet storm by the former secretary of state did not have its desired effect on a bill that will includes terrorism sanctions for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other measures. Read more

Montana Throw-Down

Hosted by Eric Felten.
5:35 PM, May 25, 2017
Today on the Daily Standard podcast, senior writer John McCormack handicaps today's Montana special congressional election, which pits a bad-tempered tech millionaire against a cowboy folk singer. Read more

Fact Check: Did the Global Seed Vault Flood Because of Global Warming?

Sort of.
1:20 PM, May 25, 2017
On Friday, May 19, the Guardian and Wired ran stories claiming that melting permafrost had put the Global Seed Vault at risk. There were just a few problems with those accounts. Read more

The CBO Score Is Not a Political Document

What should be a helpful wonk's guide, even despite its limitations, is of much greater use to hacks.
12:28 PM, May 25, 2017
The forecast can only be used as a campaign bludgeon if its topline number is manipulated like an animal balloon. But the CBO's score isn't all good news for the GOP. Nor is it necessarily all "wrong": It's a projection, full of variables and assumptions about people's behavior that can be neither proved nor disproved. Read more

Did Salman Abedi Meet With ISIS Operatives in Libya?

The U.K. is investigating a possible network behind the Manchester attack.
10:12 AM, May 25, 2017
However, it doesn't look like investigators will be sharing much of their information with U.S. counterparts. Theresa May will reportedly raise the issue of leaks with President Donald Trump during NATO meetings in Brussels later Thursday. Read more

The Substandard on Ridley Scott and 'Alien: Covenant'

10:00 AM, May 25, 2017
Great Scott! In this week's episode the Substandard discusses Alien: Covenant and the best (and not-so-best) of Ridley Scott. JVL admits he has "the sensibility of a 9-year-old girl." Something hits Sonny in the head. You say ci-cay-da, Vic says ci-cah-da. Plus theme park terror and a word from our sponsor, all on this week's Substandard! Read more

Fights, Lies, and Audiotape

It's terrible that a GOP candidate in Montana attacked a reporter. It's worse that his spokesman lied about it.
8:17 AM, May 25, 2017
On the eve of Thursday's special congressional election in Montana, Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs asked GOP candidate Greg Gianforte a couple of questions about the CBO score of the House health care bill. Gianforte responded by—I kid you not—body-slamming the reporter and breaking his glasses. Read more

It's Time for NATO to Call Turkey's Bluff

Turkey finds itself increasingly surrounded and outmaneuvered.
6:30 AM, May 25, 2017
Erdogan's long-held quest to free Turkey from its perceived dependence on the West and pursue an independent course has failed. Meanwhile, he has grown even more tyrannical at home and destructive abroad. Read more

Trump Administration Taking a Hard Line Against Iran

White House push for sanctions aligns with efforts in Congress
6:00 AM, May 25, 2017
The Trump administration is functionally reversing the Obama administration's policy of ignoring problematic behavior by Iran to preserve the nuclear deal. Read more

Trump OMB Head Says Balancing Budget Will be 'Very Difficult' Without Entitlement Reforms

White House Watch: Mulvaney to continue trying to convince Trump to embrace changes to Medicare and Social Security
5:00 AM, May 25, 2017
Donald Trump's first budget request does not propose fixing the two major entitlement programs, Social Security retirement and Medicare. But as Trump's director of the Office of Management and Budget testified Wednesday, the White House's proposal could be the last balanced budget request to not address these growing entitlement programs. Read more

AARP Spends Money Attacking GOP Senators for Legislation They'll Never Vote On

5:18 PM, May 24, 2017
The AARP is targeting five GOP senators in an ad campaign about the American Health Care Act, even though Senate Republicans have said they'll scrap the bill in favor of new legislation that presumably won't tank with the American publicRead more

Trump's Budget: Old-School Conservatism Meets Ivanka-Style Spending

Hosted by Michael Graham.
2:49 PM, May 24, 2017
Today on the Daily Standard podcast, senior writer Michael Warren breaks down President Trump's budget proposal. Read more

Puerto Rico's Faux Pension Reform

Congress passed legislation that sought to help the commonwealth and establish a formula for other states, but the resulting plan won’t fix much.
1:10 PM, May 24, 2017
It is official: Puerto Rico has entered into the "Title III" bankruptcy that many feared would be the ultimate outcome of the pension reform legislation passed by Congress last summer. Read more

House Republicans Try to Hang on Thursday in Montana Special Election

Former gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte has the edge in potentially unpredictable race.
11:40 AM, May 24, 2017
All the attention has been on Georgia this special election season. But the race for Montana's open House seat is set to conclude first, with a former GOP gubernatorial candidate trying to stave off an upset bid Thursday from a Bernie Sanders-backed musician and small business owner. Read more

Fact Check: What's the Real Story on Seth Rich?

Online conspiracy theories hit the mainstream media last week and metastasized.
11:18 AM, May 24, 2017
Online conspiracy theorists and cable news commentators, on the other hand, claim that Rich was a WikiLeaks informant and insinuate that he was killed for political reasons. Read more

A Jesuitical Way to Help Native Americans

From the May 29, 2017, issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
10:09 AM, May 24, 2017
Last fall, Jesuit-founded Georgetown University apologized to the descendants of 272 slaves sold by the institution in 1838. In addition to the formal apology, the school announced plans to rename some buildings, construct a public memorial, and possibly offer scholarships or preferential treatment to those descendants. Now, the Jesuits have started to consider other aspects of their behavior in 19th-century America and have announced that they plan to give 525 acres of land that they own in South Dakota to the Rosebud Sioux tribe. Read more

Prufrock: Housman's Loneliness, Dana Trilling's Combative Life, and Naming Diseases

9:30 AM, May 24, 2017
The best in books and arts from around the web, including: Heinrich Heine and German techno, the achievement of Chinua Achebe, a revisionist account of the American Revolution, and more. Read more

Trump's Budget Gets a Hearing on Capitol Hill

White House Watch: Will Republicans press Mulvaney on entitlement reform?
5:00 AM, May 24, 2017
Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, will defend the White House's budget request in front of the respective congressional committees Wednesday and Thursday. The administration's goal on Capitol Hill this week, according to a White House source, is two-fold: to make a case for fiscal responsibility through spending cuts, and to set the table for its tax reform proposal. Read more

In Memoriam: Peter Augustine Lawler

A former student remembers his professor, a great thinker.
6:55 PM, May 23, 2017
Peter Augustine Lawler was a humanities professor's humanities professor, a genial gadfly who could talk and write about contemporary politics and pop culture. Read more

Trump Budget Spares Drug Control Program Popular with GOP Senators

Republican lawmakers had criticized earlier proposal to effectively eliminate it.
6:24 PM, May 23, 2017
Several Republican senators reacted to President Trump's budget request Tuesday by highlighting just 0.0001 percent of its spending. Read more