This will be the last post related to the Pope: promise. One of the things I enjoyed the most during Francis' visit was seeing him drive around in his little Fiat. It was comical to watch a phalanx of huge, armored Suburbans all surrounding the tiny little compact containing the Pope. I'd wondered the story about it, and thanks to the New Yorker, problem solved:
Pope Francis and his little Fiat
The Pope has incredible power to send subtle messages through his actions. Riding around in a Fiat 500L tells us a lot about how the Pope sees the world, and how he thinks we all ought to be shedding excess in favor of care for others.
Do you know what a Bill of Attainder is?
Forgetting for a second how ridiculous it is that we're considering shutting down the government over $500MM (regardless of what it's for), it turns out that targeting Planned Parenthood isn't even legal. ConLaw professor David Cohen weighs in with exactly why Congress can't single out people or firms in law by name, and how it represents a violation of the separation of powers.
Youth football needs to become safer
Evan Murray was the third youth football player in America to die playing the sport in September, alone. Charlie Pierce looks at the brutality of American football, and asks: why do we keep tolerating this? He doesn't make this connection, but I certainly felt resonance between many of the points he raises and asks, and the President's remarks after the Oregon shooting this week, as well. America continues to grow uncomfortably complacent with the death of young people.
McConnell 1, Cruz 0
Boehner may be gone, but Mitch isn't going anywhere. I prefer the (by and large) decorum of the Senate over that of the house, and it was terrific to see the Majority Leader not only outfox Ted Cruz' efforts to disrupt the chamber, but to see all the other members of the caucus support those efforts. Cruz' base commentary may play well among the fringe of the public, but it's boorish to those in Washington. I love seeing him get the cold shoulder.
More great American foreign policy
Do whatever you want in Syria, it's absolutely fine by us. In fact: "do whatever you want in Syria" seems to have been our policy toward everyone, all along.
$100MM doesn't buy what it used to
I had totally forgotten about Mark Zuckerberg's enormous donation to Newark's public schools. Of course, since then, Cory Booker has gone on to bigger and better things and the follow up to the donation has been less covered. It turns out the $100MM hasn't really done much. The power of teacher's unions prevented many of the reforms that Zuckerberg sought to encourage with his donation, and resulted in compromises that have done more than neuter the value of the well-intentioned gift: they've injected money into a corrupt system and funded the very problems it was designed to combat.
The intersection of Donald Trump and John Boehner
I've been watching GOP politics very closely this year. The disturbing direction of the primary, treatment of John Boehner, and overall rhetoric from members of the House has me increasingly worried about the party. The core of each party remains the same (and keeps me on the right), but the increasingly contentious and elevated language being used on each side, lack of compromise and hateful tones is turning me off. Yes, let's make American great again — but for everyone.