Links for 11/14/19

At La Croix, Massimo Faggioli looks at synodality as a means of addressing the "crisis of democracy." I am suspicious of process-oriented solutions, and think certain interests and ideas need to be defeated if solutions are to be forthcoming, but Faggioli, as ever, is persuasive.

Looks like we are about to be able to test the thesis: Is there any craziness to which the critics of Pope Francis will not lend credence? LifeSiteNews has an interview with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò that probes the limits. For example, "For all of us Catholics, the landscape in the Holy Church is becoming darker by the day. If this satanic plan is successful, Catholics who adhere to it will in fact change religion, and the immense flock of Our Lord Jesus Christ will be reduced to a minority."

At Border Report, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, calls much needed attention to the "Remain in Mexico" policy. Much media attention has been focused on detention facilities on our side of the border, but the situation on the other side might even be worse.

At Politico Magazine, John F. Harris takes on the conventional, centrist wisdom currently afflicting the Democratic Party, or at least its "cynics and hacks and bed-wetters," who are fretting about a Sen. Bernie Sanders or a Sen. Elizabeth Warren candidacy. He offers a great quote from Arthur Schlesinger Jr.: "Great presidents are unifiers mostly in retrospect." There is an additional problem Harris does not address: The fact that political elites who staff and finance Democratic campaigns are allergic to moderation on social issues and so when they say "centrist," they mean cozy with Wall Street. A sweeping majority awaits the Democrat that steps away from social issue orthodoxy, but I am not holding my breath.

Also at Politico, Ryan Lizza on how the impeachment proceedings could upend the Democratic presidential primary: Sitting senators would have to leave the campaign trail, but the spotlight would be theirs. Needless to say, this being the Democratic party, the lack of communication between congressional leaders and the campaigns is non-existent.

In the New York Times, Michael Tomasky examines the arguments some billionaires are making against liberal tax proposals, and why their objections do not really cut the economic mustard. 

Also in the Times, Jamelle Bouie on the opposition to Warren's campaign and, surprise, surprise, rich people are not excited by her policy proposals. Hard to believe, I know.

At Roll Call, the American Society of Civil Engineers issues a frightening report on the crumbling infrastructure in Puerto Rico, two years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island. 

[Michael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.]

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