Links for 4/3/18

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Larry Kudlow, new director of the White House's National Economic Council (Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)
Larry Kudlow, new director of the White House's National Economic Council (Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)

Sunday night's live performance of "Jesus Christ Superstar" was remarkable. It takes a lot to take my breath away, but this did it. Many boring lectures about evangelization could terminated immediately and replaced with video of this high-energy concert. Here is the finale featuring Brandon Victor Dixon, who really stole the show.

"Superstar": Brandon Victor Dixon - Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

Also remarkable but in a different way, the Holy Father's sermon at the Chrism Mass last Thursday in Rome. I will come back to this in a few days.

In The Washington Post, a look at some of the Democratic primaries where the candidates agree on policies but not on electoral strategies or personalities, this latter being the dominant concern no one wants to admit head-on. But too many of these putative members of Congress have not learned the secret of electoral politics: Make it about the voters and their concerns, not about the candidate's biography.

Relatedly, at Politico, this analysis claims the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has already won the primaries by dragging the conversation to the left. The problem? If candidates are "progressive" on both economic and social issues, they lose in districts the Democrats need to win. The solution? Remain progressive on economic issues but trim the often illiberal agenda of those who want the party to be identified by its stance on social issues.

Also at Politico, Danny Vinik demonstrates how the Trump administration redirected most of the disaster relief to Texas and not to Puerto Rico, and did so in a far more timely way, despite the fact that the devastation in Puerto Rico was so much worse. I wonder if the fact that Texans vote in presidential elections and Puerto Ricans don't had anything to do with this disparity?

In The Boston Globe, officials at Wellesley College resist the efforts by the Koch Brothers to insinuate themselves and their ideological agenda into the school. I wish Catholic schools were equally resistant, but some are more interested in Koch brothers' cash and are willing to sell their Catholic identity down the river to get it.

Speaking of misguided economic ideology, at The Guardian, Thomas Frank explains why Larry Kudlow is about the worst possible person to be advising President Donald Trump.

Stéphane Audran, the great French actress who played the title role in "Babette's Feast," died last week. I first saw Audran in the role of Cara, the mistress to Lord Marchmain, in "Brideshead Revisited," and it is easy to get lost in a scene that Sir Laurence Olivier is busy trying to steal, but her performance shone through.

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

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