Links for 8/2/18

At the Atlantic, David Graham thinks President Donald Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani are smart to trot out their "collusion is not a crime" argument. True, they are trying to shift the discussion towards a "legalistic parsing," but I think the change is one of desperation. Trump's consistent rantings about "fake news" and his complaints about the integrity of the Mueller investigation have been premised, correctly, on the recognition that this is a political, not a legal, battle. Switching horses midstream is always tricky and, besides, "high crimes and misdemeanors" covers collusion no matter how you look at it. More on this Monday.

At Politico, a look at five primaries where an incumbent Democrat faces a challenger who is trying to imitate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's upset win over Cong. Joe Crowley. As they note, however, each race is different. For example, Congressman Mike Capuano has been very active in his district, and not just at election time, whereas Crowley declined to hit the pavement. And it will be interesting to see if candidates run to the left on social issues, or economic issues, or both.

What the Democrats should not do? Listen to billionaire egomaniac Tom Steyer. I appreciate his commitment to the environment, but the man is a pure libertarian in every other regard and, besides, Democrats can't beat the incumbent egomaniac billionaire with one of their own. Again, Politico has the story.

In the Washington Post, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt presidential library has released new home videos of the great president, including rare footage of him in shorts, his withered legs in front of him as he moves himself on the strength of his arms alone. What most comes through in the video clips, however, is his shining personality. Who wouldn't want to collaborate with such a man?

From La Voce Alpino del NordEst, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said Mass in Tonadico, Italy, the ancestral home of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Parolin mentioned that Bernardin suffered from calumny against him as well as from cancer. I recall the story of Bernardin's visit to this town after his receiving the red hat. There was a great festa to welcome him and as it was winding down, he said to his gathered family that he would say daily Mass with them in the morning. The family members looked down at the ground and averted their eyes a bit. Finally, pleadingly, he turned to the matriarch of the family. Surely she would go to Mass on a weekday. She replied, "Io Catolico, non fanatico!"

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