Links for 1/25/18

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Peter Turkson
Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, speaks Jan. 22 during the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (CNS/Reuters/Denis Balibouse)

You wonder if Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has ever read books about military strategy. Does he understand that in human combat, the key is to identify and occupy the key strategic ground and then, once committed to the battle, hold that ground at all costs? He never should have threatened a shutdown: Presidents always win the blame game because Congress' approval ratings are akin to those of cockroaches. Now, having invited President Donald Trump to spurn a compromise on immigration, Schumer tries to adopt a severe pose but has completely compromised his negotiating position because he blinked. Add to that the fact that his base now is furious. I thought Schumer was savvier than this. The Washington Post has the story.

From the Guardian, via Watts Up With That?, a prediction that concerns about artificial intelligence will dominate the discussions at Davos, overtaking climate change as a worry. I think much of the almost anthropological worry about "AI" is overblown and reflects the lousy philosophic education of too many executives, writers and analysts, although concern about job replacement is real. But at the event, Mother Nature intervened to remind the participants of her primordial strength delivering three meters of snow to the city. Nothing artificial about that!

Also at Politico, the resurgent strength of the new sustainable energy sector is obvious. For Trump, all the cant about coal was for political purposes. For the investors who drive the global economy, the future remains green, and there isn't much Trump and his administration can do to slow it down. Democrats needs to pay attention and start writing the labor regulations and related social policies that should govern this emerging market.

At Religion News Service, Mark Silk weights in on the Pope Francis-Cardinal O'Malley-Bishop Barros controversy. I think Silk should allow, as I did yesterday, that the pope may know something the rest of us don't, but he is absolutely correct that until the Vatican publicly removes a bishop for failure to confront clergy sex abuse, people will assume the worst.

[Michael Sean Winters writes about the nexus between religion and politics.]

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