Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Lonely City: How I learned to be with myself in New York by Nick Genovese: “In solitude, I do not aim to possess the other in order to bring me pleasure. Instead, I take pleasure in others by simply getting to know them. I appreciate the beauty of a friend or sibling for his or her sake alone. Even in New York City, I discover that strangers who are not always warm and welcoming desire the same thing as I do—to belong and to feel connected beyond themselves.”

Catholicism and the common good by Steven Millies: “Catholics can — and should — be leaders in the recovery of confidence in Western democracy. To do so, however, requires that we must first recover our own confidence in what our faith teaches us about the value of each human person, the toleration of different points of view and the goodness of governments that draw their authority from the consent of people, seeking the common good of every member of the political community.”

Paul Ryan Begs Conservatives Not to Thwart His Boyhood Dream of Immiserating the Poor by Jonathan Chait: “Paul Ryan has been obsessed for his entire adult life by the single-minded goal of reducing distribution from the rich to the poor. But Ryan, who worked as a political aide before running for Congress himself, is savvy enough to recognize that social Darwinism is not a promising basis for a national platform….But, in an uncharacteristic fit of candor, he burst out today to National Review editor Rich Lowry, in support of his plan to cut spending on Medicaid, that “We’ve been dreaming of this since you and I were drinking out of a keg.” Medicaid is a lifeline that gives ultra-cheap health insurance to the desperately poor and sick. Ryan’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare would combine a huge tax cut for the rich with $370 billion in cuts to Medicaid.”

Here’s what I saw when I attended a conservative Catholic gathering in DC’s Trump Tower by John Gehring: “Conservative Catholics who feel emboldened in the Trump era will continue to strategize and look for political openings. But along the way they risk being relegated to cheerleaders for the administration if they downplay or ignore how poverty, the environment and the command to welcome migrants are central to traditional church teachings. Perhaps looking to Pope Francis, rather than Donald Trump, would be a good place to start.”

The Trump administration dons a tinfoil hat by Catherine Rampell: “It’s hardly just coincidence that the Trump executive branch is rife with beliefs that are wholly disconnected from reality. Such beliefs were a foundation of his campaign. Of course this would be the talent he attracts. Not scientists, experts or others who believe in weighing evidence, but people who heard Trump’s many malicious lies and reckless insinuations — that vaccines cause autism, that Ted Cruz’s dad was connected to the JFK assassination, that Mexicans are flooding over the border to rape and kill, that Antonin Scalia and Vince Foster may have been murdered, that 3 million people voted illegally, that our first black president was born in Kenya — and said: “Sign me up!””

Republicans are defining lunacy down by Michael Gerson: “Children sitting in Professor Trump’s history class would learn that Obama was America’s first Muslim president; that his co-religionists celebrated in the streets following the 9/11 attacks; that their vaccination schedule is the dangerous scam of greedy doctors; that Ted Cruz’s father might have been involved in the death of John F. Kennedy; that Hillary Clinton might have been involved in the death of Vince Foster; that unnamed liberals might have been involved in the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.”

Report says Syria’s government exploits UN’s aid delivery system, depriving millions of assistance by ABC News: “The Syrian government has deliberately exploited the U.N. aid delivery system, depriving millions of Syrians in besieged and hard-to-reach areas of urgently needed food and medicine, according to a new report.”

Trumpcare Is a Historic Social Calamity That Would Deprive 24 Million of Insurance by Jonathan Chait: “The bill would deprive 14 million American citizens of their health insurance next year, a number that would rise to 24 million by the end of the decade. It is a proposal that could only be enacted by a party in the grips of an combination of ideological and partisan fanaticism unfathomable to most of the world, and even to most Americans.”

The Make Inequality Worse Act of 2017 by EJ Dionne: “In his youth, Ryan was a devotee of Ayn Rand, whose philosophy is nicely summarized by the title of her book “The Virtue of Selfishness.” She would be proud of her onetime disciple.”

Trump’s immoral budget by Michael Sean Winters: “Do we really have to tighten our belts? We are in the richest country in the history of the human race. The problem is not that we lack the money to fund domestic programs that enforce safe workplace regulations or provide legal assistance to the indigent or foreign programs aimed at ameliorating curable diseases. The problem is that, unlike other countries, our rich folk don’t pay enough in taxes. I do not see the need to increase military spending, but if there is a need, there is no need to cut other spending priorities.”