Links for 03/02/15

There has been a lot of foolish ink spilled on the issue of President Obama's Authorization for Use of Military Force in the fight against ISIS. Here is some very fine congressional testimony by the Brookings Institution's Ben Wittes and others. What you realize almost immediately is that most of the talking points you hear are based on faulty or tendentious understandings of what is at stake, how the proposed AUMF differs from previous ones, etc. 

If you are a journalist and you admire Glen Greenwald et al., read this dispassionate examination at Politico of how one supposedly straight-shooting media outlet, promising to be "fearless," was, in fact, nothing but a propaganda vehicle for some deeply flawed thinkers. The incompetence rivals the bias.

At Slate, Will Saletan looks at the protests in San Francisco and demonstrates again why he is one of the finest journalists in the business when the subject is religion generally and the Catholic Church specifically. The money quote:

The protesters are confused. They reject morality clauses but call the archbishop’s behavior sinful, shameful, and wrong. They belong to a church but seem to think it shouldn’t forbid anything. They insist that no one can be judged, except for issuing judgments that contradict their own. They can’t explain or even acknowledge the moral differences between homosexuality, contraception, and abortion. The nonsense of nonjudgmentalism has turned their brains to mush. It’s clouding their ability to think and speak clearly about society’s mistakes—and their own.


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