Links for 10/17/17

In the Washington Post, E.J. Dionne shares his opinion on political reform legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. David Price and Sen. Tom Udall: Laying the groundwork now for when meaningful reform can be enacted, from campaign finance law to gerrymandering. 

At Politico, a look at how — and why — evangelicals love Trump. The author does not reference Fr. Antonio Spadaro's "ecumenism of hate," but last week's Values Voter Summit could be exhibit A to confirm the Spadaro thesis.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke may have watched one too many episodes of "Downton Abbey," or maybe "Brideshead Revisisted": Like the dukes and earls of old, he has taken to having his personal flag raised when he is in the building and taken down when he leaves. Just bizarre. I wonder if he rings for tea?

Does Planned Parenthood still have too much influence over the Democratic Party and its agenda? You bet. They want Dems to make the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contraception mandate a central campaign focus. Don't they realize that while this fight became a zero-sum game for inside-the-Beltway interests on both sides, outside the Beltway, most women will continue to have ready access to contraception? 

I am normally skeptical of Arthur Brooks, of the American Enterprise Institute: His concern for the poor may be sincere, but he tends to ignore the degree to which his ideological commitment to free markets has manifestly failed to help the poor. But in this essay, written with John Powell and published at CityLab, Brooks shows a depth of moral understanding that surprised me. Keeping walking towards the light, Mr. Brooks.

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

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