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untangling charges of collusion, treason, and leaking sources

lachlan markay, white house reporter for the daily beast, joins the federalist radio hour to break down this week’s news surrounding donald trump jr., the investigations into collusion with russia, and white house leaks. “the collusion question has now split into two different questions,” he said. “one is did they collude in general, and then two is did they collude on the blatantly criminal acts of hacking the democratic national committee and the clinton campaign.” later in the hour, markay and domenech discuss the nuances of center-right views at left-leaning publications. “i think as long as you realize that a certain outlet is coming at a question from a certain perspective, i don’t think internally there need to be alternate perspectives, as long as people are able to get alternate perspectives elsewhere, markay said. download or listen here:





sorry, eugene peterson, christianity doesn’t endorse homosexuality

eugene peterson, translator of the very popular bible adaption the message and a favorite writer in evangelical circles, shocked many this week, stating that he’s perfectly comfortable performing a same-sex wedding. he explained, “i think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over. …i think it’s a transition for the best, for the good. …[i]t’s not a right or wrong thing as far as i’m concerned.” update: the next day his literary agent released a statement saying peterson did not imply this and holds to a biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one women. i take him at his word. this article has been slightly changed to reflect this new information.noted catholics, comedian jim gaffigan and his wife jeannie (whom jim humorously describes as a “shiite catholic”) proudly took their five young kids to new york city’s recent gay pride parade, joyfully waving their rainbow flags. there have been a disturbing number of people who claim the name of christ who would like us to believe that god and the bible are totally cool with homosexuality. they are not. these folks are sowing a great deal of confusion among christians today, which is troubling and must be set straight in clear terms.squaring homosexual sexual relations with the jewish and christian scriptures requires that one either ignore its clear and historic teaching or perform a clever textual sleight of hand. it’s the only two ways one can arrive there. here are ten...





how the viral gif game got me thinking about the meaning of life

“the question, o me! so sad, recurring — what good amid these, o me, o life?” — walt whitmana viral facebook game got me feeling pretty existential this week. long has humankind cried out to the heavens, the universe, god, the gods, “who am i?!” this week, many cried out to facebook friends with the same lament. well, almost. we beseeched our closest online friends and family to explain our existence in one gif. i’m a seeker. i’m introspective.so, i dove in. friends and family, one gif that describes me. go.gif stands for “graphic interchange format,” a file type created in 1987 by a man who pronounces it incorrectly. this little powerhouse of modern communication is a short, ever-repeating, silent reel of video or animation. humanity has lifted these moments from films, tv shows, commercials, home videos, political speeches, and more, creating vast libraries of short, looped moving pictures that are silent but can speak volumes.one on hand, they’re just goofy video clips. on the other, each one is freighted with the meaning of its original art form and the context of its excerpting for gif-ing. then they’re layered over with written messages and implicit messages in conversation after conversation by each user in this vast public library in this giant internet conversation humanity is having.they can be cultural references and mash-ups and celebrations and allegories, sometimes all at once. the glorious versatility of the gif! this is a language we d...





how the viral gif game got me thinking about the meaning of life

“the question, o me! so sad, recurring — what good amid these, o me, o life?” — walt whitmana viral facebook game got me feeling pretty existential this week. long has humankind cried out to the heavens, the universe, god, the gods, “who am i?!” this week, many cried out to facebook friends with the same lament. well, almost. we beseeched our closest online friends and family to explain our existence in one gif. i’m a seeker. i’m introspective.so, i dove in. friends and family, one gif that describes me. go.gif stands for “graphic interchange format,” a file type created in 1987 by a man who pronounces it incorrectly. this little powerhouse of modern communication is a short, ever-repeating, silent reel of video or animation. humanity has lifted these moments from films, tv shows, commercials, home videos, political speeches, and more, creating vast libraries of short, looped moving pictures that are silent but can speak volumes.one on hand, they’re just goofy video clips. on the other, each one is freighted with the meaning of its original art form and the context of its excerpting for gif-ing. then they’re layered over with written messages and implicit messages in conversation after conversation by each user in this vast public library in this giant internet conversation humanity is having.they can be cultural references and mash-ups and celebrations and allegories, sometimes all at once. the glorious versatility of the gif! this is a language we d...





stretching war powers lets the president provoke wars americans don't want

following a lethal chemical attack against civilians in syria on april 6, president trump laid the blame on syria’s bashar al-assad, saying the dictator had crossed “many, many red lines.” forty-eight hours later, the president ordered a punitive cruise missile strike against a syrian air force base. whatever the rationale or justification, by launching these missiles the president decided to attack a sovereign nation, on his own, without congressional approval or consultation—continuing a troubling trend dissolving the separation of powers within the u.s. government.unfortunately, this missile strike was not an isolated event, as in recent weeks the u.s. military has attacked and destroyed forces allied with syria, shot down a syrian fighter jet, and downed two drones operated by iran—all potentially acts of war.the president has not sought congressional approval for this significant escalation of military force, and congress has not yet demanded immediate and substantial justification for such force. congress alone was given the power to declare war, and these powers are no mere formalities: if military actions continue to be taken abroad by the inclinations of a single person, without effective constraint, the nation could one day find itself plunged into a war it neither wants nor would have chosen should its people have been consulted. before such a troublesome and uncertain event occurs, it is crucial that congressional leadership step up to its obligations.th...





why is disney fighting to stop parents from filtering kids’ media intake?

most families govern the entertainment their children consume. for some, the lowering of standards and the coarsening of our culture make this both more difficult and more needed, even as technology affords more avenues for hollywood content to enter the home.yet technology can also help those parents, through editing and filtering services. that is, until hollywood steps in to battle those efforts. under the guise of high-minded principles like censorship, creative freedom, and artistic integrity, studios keep fighting the technologies that give parents control over what their children consume. and this charge is being led by the studio built upon family entertainment: disney studios.the utah-based company vid angel recently announced its new service for in-home filtering. its product is designed to give families direct control over the content of movies and shows that play from their streaming services. through a series of radio buttons and drop-down menus, customers receive a fully customizable parental block tool. depending on their personal judgement, parents can limit the violence, sexual content, and coarse language their children would otherwise see in an unfiltered movie or show.any entertainment selections from a user’s netflix, amazon prime, or hbo streaming account can be filtered, with the exception of content from four studios: disney, 20th century fox, warner brothers, and lucasfilm. these entities joined to battle vid angel in court over its earlier dvd iter...





even babywearing groups are purging members who object to politics

my kingdom for a safe zone. that’s what my husband and i say whenever politics bleeds into areas of our lives it has no business being in. the phrase comes from a 2009 column from national review’s jay nordlinger on the subject. nordlinger was tired of the politicization of everything eight years ago, and the situation has only become worse.i’ve written previously on my growing distaste for facebook because of the constant negativity infecting my newsfeed. in an effort to salvage the experience, i muted all of the political preeners, those who spend their time on social media virtue-signaling their worth via their liberal politics. i muted all of the hysterical folks who believe “a handmaid’s tale” is a “timely” piece of art, who believe gilead is coming to america. i muted those who post the latest evidence from occupy democrats about the manchurian russian candidate occupying the white house. i repopulated the feed with mom stuff: charlotte mason homeschooling groups, friends with cute kids and animals, and babywearing groups.i created my own “safe spaces” because i’m sick to death of politics 24/7. alas, it has a way of finding me even in these formerly benign facebook pages and groups.we’re only inclusive of people who agree with usi have an addiction to baby carriers (i bought two this week alone) and to not bankrupt my journalist family with this addiction, i’m trying to sell one i never quite figured out how to wear comfortably. i attempted to...





u2 concerts would be better if the band preached less and sang more

a few weeks ago, teju cole wrote in the new york times magazine about two early 20th century photographers. the first was edward s. curtis, who shot native americans in their tribal clothes and posed them stiffly, looking at the camera with immobile nobility. the other photographer was horace poolaw, a member of the kiowa tribe who took candid shots of people enjoying everyday life, such as his sister, in a dress typical for 1928, holding her dog and smiling a bit. the article raises some brilliant questions about how the outsider perceives and seeks to present the “other”, and how insiders portray the same idea.i thought about cole’s article as i watched last night’s u2 concert in new jersey. before the show, the screen showed a loop of poetry about immigrants, including “puerto rican obituary” by pedro pietri (one gem of a couplet: the workers save “for broken english lessons/to impress the mister goldsteins”), and the audience had plenty of time to read them over and again, since the band didn’t come on stage until 9:30.for much of the show, the band projected an earnest slideshow of native americans and other immigrants onto the screen. those pictured were unsmiling, trudging down roads and living in shacks. this is u2’s version of what the immigrant experience looks like in america, and it’s all pretty bleak. but the message was muddled and totally unclear.the album’s greatest songs—“running to stand still” and “red hill mining town”





sorry, eugene peterson, christianity doesn’t endorse homosexuality

eugene peterson, translator of the very popular bible adaption the message and a favorite writer in evangelical circles, shocked many this week, stating that he’s perfectly comfortable performing a same-sex wedding. he explains, “i think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over. …i think it’s a transition for the best, for the good. …[i]t’s not a right or wrong thing as far as i’m concerned.”noted catholics, comedian jim gaffigan and his wife jeannie (whom jim humorously describes as a “shiite catholic”) proudly took their five young kids to new york city’s recent gay pride parade, joyfully waving their rainbow flags. these are only the latest believers who would like us to believe that god and the bible are totally cool with homosexuality. they are not. these folks are sowing a great deal of confusion among christians today, which is troubling and must be set straight in clear terms.squaring homosexual sexual relations with the jewish and christian scriptures requires that one either ignore its clear and historic teaching or perform a clever textual sleight of hand. it’s the only two ways one can arrive there. here are ten foundational truths that must inform the person who seeks to be true to faithfully orthodox christian belief. the first sets the stage for the whole discussion.1. all humans are simultaneously sinful and lovedall people, regardless of their story, are deeply and unconditionally loved by god, each created with profou...





does our nation still offer its youth the chance to succeed?

when i read david brooks’s rather notorious piece from tuesday about wealth indicators in the modern world—the cultural and economic barriers to upward mobility that can keep certain people down—i began thinking about my own idaho family: the people who basically taught me everything there is to know about anything. (except, perhaps notably, soppressata.)my forefathers, who emigrated to idaho in the mid-1800s, were poor, working-class people. they had been moving from town to town, seeking odd jobs their family could use to survive. (theirs was a very “grapes of wrath” story.) the economic and cultural forces that combined to keep them in idaho had little to do with desire, and everything to do with necessity: times were tough, and money was often tight, but their children had married and settled down in the valley. so the family stayed.but with the next generation, the economic fortunes of my family began to change. this was, in large part, due to the amazing work ethic and determination of my great-grandfather. he brought his family through the throes of the great depression, building a self-sustainable and economically profitable farm. along with the thrift and talent of his wife, the two of them raised their family from working-class subsistence to middle-class existence.their son (my grandfather) went on to become a banker. his hard work and entrepreneurial spirit, alongside his wife—also a banker—resulted in raising the family’s fortunes once again, deep...





here are 5 backroom deals inside the latest senate health-care bill

buried within the pages of the revised senate health-care bill are numerous formula tweaks meant to advantage certain states. call them backroom deals, call them earmarks, call them whatever you like: several provisions were inserted into the bill over the past two weeks with the intent of appealing to certain constituents.it appears that at least three of these provisions apply to alaska—home of wavering sen. lisa murkowski (r-ak)—and another applies to louisiana, home of undecided sen. bill cassidy (r-la). below please find a summary (not necessarily exhaustive) of these targeted provisions.the buy off lisa murkowski again fundsection 106 of the bill includes new language—page 13, lines 4 through 13, and page 18, line 12 through page 19, line 4—dedicating one percent of the new stability fund dollars to “each state where the cost of insurance premiums are at least 75 percent higher than the national average.” as a bloomberg story noted, this provision currently applies only to alaska, and could result in $1.32 billion in stability fund dollars automatically being directed to alaska.the alaskan pipelinethe revised section 126 of the bill includes modified language—page 44, lines 9 through 17—changing certain medicaid payments to hospitals based on a state’s overall uninsured population, not its medicaid enrollment. as bloomberg noted, this provision would also benefit alaska, because alaska recently expanded its medicaid program, and therefore would qualify...





the insufferable hypocrisy of 'morning joe'

after famously leaving the democratic party, ronald reagan went on national television in 1964 to deliver a brilliant distillation of his views on limited government and individual liberty in “a time for choosing.” reagan gave the speech, though he knew it would be toxic among his peers and possibly hurt a nascent political career, to help long-shot candidate barry goldwater.joe scarborough famously left the republican party in 2017 by going on cbs’s “the late show” where host stephen colbert teed up some preplanned questions that allowed “morning joe,” to the delight of a crowd of applauding automatons who couldn’t tell the difference between sanctimony and bravery, to indulge in some self-aggrandizement.reagan went to bed the night of his pre-taped speech “hoping i hadn’t let barry down.” joe went to bed the night of his pre-taped show believing that americans enjoyed his cringe-inducing third-rate mor protest song. “it’s one of the great tragedies of my political life that democrats get all the great musicians,” the lead singer and guitarist for the band scarborough had recently explained. well, fortunately, joe will have a chance to reverse this historic injustice when he finally registers as a democrat.“you have to ask yourself, what exactly is the republican party willing to do?” scarborough told a nodding colbert. “how far are they willing to go? how much of this country and our values are they willing to sell out?” this is a rhetori...





how evangelicals invented liberals' favorite legal doctrine

constitutional originalism has long been an unquestioned dogma for conservative evangelicals, as the recent nomination of neil gorsuch to the supreme court has again confirmed. evangelical political leaders responded to the announcement with unrestrained praise. as the southern baptist convention’s russell moore wrote, “judge neil gorsuch…is a brilliant and articulate defender of constitutional originalism in the mold of the man he will replace: justice antonin scalia.”focus on the family’s james dobson struck a similar note, suggesting that gorsuch would “uphold and defend the constitution of the united states and the original intent of its framers.” for many evangelical conservatives, originalism has a dogma-like status not just because it is the proper way to read and interpret a text, but because the competing doctrine of the “living constitution” has brought us not only the administrative state in the new deal, but roe and obergefell.yet if john compton’s fascinating new book the evangelical origins of the living constitution is right, evangelicals at the turn of the twentieth century are largely to blame for evangelicals’ problems here at the turn of the twenty-first century: it was evangelicals then who made the doctrine of the “living constitution” plausible, even if evangelicals today lament it.compton’s fascinating and masterfully executed argument goes something like this: evangelical campaigns against alcohol and lotteries in the late n...





oregon's new abortion law proves the left doesn't care about consent

the radical pro-abortion agenda has met little resistance in oregon. the west coast is governed by some of the most radical leftists in the country, but in the case of abortion regulations, oregon has historically outdone california and washington. it seeks to lengthen its lead in the race toward the ultimate culture of death with its latest bill, hb3391, which passed the state senate and is heading for the desk of governor kate brown. brown’s staff-managed twitter account certainly conveyed enthusiasm for the bill.yes! yes! yes! "oregon legislature approves reproductive services bill covering abortions, contraceptives" https://t.co/8ifkuihhxo— kate brown (@katebrownforor) july 6, 2017and seeing that brown is a former abortion lobbyist, this bill will pass.the act, titled “relating to reproductive health care; and declaring an emergency,” will force insurers to cover 100 percent of the cost of an abortion, regardless of medical necessity. elective abortion in oregon is now totally free. it’s either covered by one’s insurer, or else covered directly by the state through the oregon health authority.the last line of the bill reads, “this 2017 act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2017 act takes effect on its passage.”the audacity of the radicals who wrote this bill is breathtaking. elected democrats don’t just want to force all oregonians to finance abortions (for...





reconsider caring for your kids because it costs money

what happens when you choose to stay at home and care for your children?some may argue that giving up a 9-to-5 job gives them ample opportunities to connect with their offspring and watch them grow. even other parents might suggest that this time at home is beneficial not just to their children’s long-term happiness, but also to their own.but not so the center for american progress. they’ve been crunching the numbers, and they want you to know that giving up your career to care for your children is a huge financial mistake:while there’s plenty of data revealing how pricey childcare can be, there’s never been a way to calculate exactly how much potential income parents stand to lose over a lifetime if they choose to leave the workforce. until now.enter michael madowitz, an economist at the center for american progress. he and his team at the cap designed a calculator that shows you how much money you’ll be walking away from if you quit your job to save on childcare costs.… much like a retirement calculator, the cap’s calculator factors in the basics such as your age, your salary, and the years you plan to leave the workforce. it also ties in average 401(k) contributions, expected wage growth, and the monetary penalties that may come with an interrupted career.here’s an example: let’s say you’re a 26-year-old woman who makes $60,000 a year and plans to take off five years. over your lifetime, your total income loss will be $1,030,076. because of the gender ...





senate bill would cover pre-existing conditions, drive down premiums

details of senate majority leader mitch mcconnell’s revised health-care bill were unveiled yesterday, and they include everything from expanded health savings accounts to more funding for the treatment of opioid addiction to relaxed rules for medicaid—a little something for all the warring gop factions in the senate.but the most important amendment might be the proposal from sen. ted cruz to allow insurance companies to sell cheaper, deregulated plans outside the obamacare exchanges so long as they also sell obamacare-compliant plans through an exchange. these non-compliant plans wouldn’t have to cover the “essential health benefits” that obamacare plans on the exchanges are required to cover, but they’d be a lot cheaper.for consumers, that would mean if you didn’t want to buy an insurance plan that covered obamacare-mandated mental health and substance abuse treatment, or maternity care, or pediatric oral and dental care, then you wouldn’t have to. you could buy a plan that covered almost nothing but a visit to a hospital emergency room and an annual physical, if you wanted to. those plans used to be common before obamacare, and they were actually attractive to younger people without a lot of health problems because the premiums were cheap. under cruz’s proposal, plans like that would come back to the individual market.that might not sound like much, but it has the potential to drive down premiums and re-shape individual health insurance markets across the ...





adf demands apology, retraction from abc news

the alliance defending freedom has demanded that abc news retract their article wrongly referring to the adf as a “hate group,” and issue an apology.“americans’ trust in media is cratering, and the blatant bias and lack of professionalism that abc attempted to pass off as news can only serve to confirm and intensify that distrust,” said adf director of communications kerri kupec.the adf is a civil liberties organization that fights for religious liberty. it most recently made headlines after winning its fifth supreme court case—trinity lutheran v. comer.the adf’s demand for an apology comes after abc news wrote a news story classifying it as a “hate group,” based on a classification from the southern poverty law center. adf called the article “defamatory” and said abc news has committed “journalistic malpractice.”for more on abc’s article and adf, see here.jordyn is an intern and a rising junior at hillsdale college. you can follow her on twitter @jordynpair.





adf demands apology, retraction from abc news

the alliance defending freedom has demanded that abc news retract their article wrongly referring to the adf as a “hate group,” and issue an apology.“americans’ trust in media is cratering, and the blatant bias and lack of professionalism that abc attempted to pass off as news can only serve to confirm and intensify that distrust,” said adf director of communications kerri kupec.the adf is a civil liberties organization that fights for the rights of religious liberties. it most recently made headlines after winning its fifth supreme court case—trinity lutheran v. comer.the adf’s demand for an apology comes after abc news wrote a news story classifying it as a “hate group,” based on a classification from the southern poverty law center. adf called the article “defamatory” and said abc news has committed “journalistic malpractice.”for more on abc’s article and adf, see here.jordyn is an intern and a rising junior at hillsdale college. you can follow her on twitter @jordynpair.





christians who believe in the first amendment are a 'hate group'

abc news’ pete madden and erin galloway smeared christians who believe the bill of rights secures religious liberty as a “hate group,” in an article this week headlined, “jeff sessions addresses ‘anti-lgbt hate group,’ but doj won’t release his remarks.” the lede of the story made it clear this was not just the work of a rogue headline writer but the failure of the reporters themselves:attorney general jeff sessions delivered a speech to an alleged hate group at an event closed to reporters on tuesday night, but the department of justice is refusing to reveal what he said.first, a note that you can — and should — read the prepared remarks of the attorney general here at the federalist.who is this “hate group”? alliance defending freedom is not a hate group at all, but a civil liberties organization that battles for religious liberty. and they’re not a fringe group either. they just weeks ago won their most recent supreme court victory — trinity lutheran v. comer — 7-2. it was their fifth supreme court victory in seven years, during which time they’ve had no losses at the high court.and the group is ranked among the top law firms in the country for its successes at the supreme court.most recently the non-profit law firm found out that the supreme court agreed to hear another one of their cases dealing with artistic freedom and religious liberty.to characterize such an accomplished civil rights group as a ‘hate group’ is unacceptable and inex...





megan mcardle on social capital, health care, and life with algorithms

megan mcardle is a columnist at bloomberg view and author of “the upside of down.” mcardle joins ben domenech on the federalist radio hour to discuss the latest senate health care bill woes, the new season of game of thrones, and the algorithms that determine our entertainment. first they discuss the ideas ignited by david brooks’ column this week on social class and barriers created by the elite. “first of all, brooks was clearly talking about social class, but second of all, social class and economic class are entangled,” mcardle said. “social capital helps you get financial capital. social is knowing how to get a better job.” you can listen or download here: