Current Events Write-Up: Middle East Interests, Gorsuch’s Non-Existent Fascist Club, Betsy DeVos, and Coal

Time for my weekly Current-Events Write-Up, in which I link to news and opinion pieces and comment on them.

The Middle East

Townhall: ‘Middle East Conflict’ Describes More Than Just Israeli-Palestinian Dispute, by Jonah Goldberg.

This part interested me: “Republican State Department veteran Elliott Abrams (recently denied a job as the No. 2 guy at the State Department because he had criticized Trump during the campaign) writes in the Weekly Standard that the Trump administration may be going for an ‘outside-in’ strategy rather than an ‘inside-out’ one: ‘Instead of using an Israeli-Palestinian deal to improve Israel’s relations with the Arab states, use Israel’s relations with the Arab states to advance an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal,’ Abrams writes.  One reason to follow this approach, Abrams notes, is that the Palestinians don’t have much to offer Israel. But good relations (which have been improving) with her Arab neighbors and a more united front against terrorism and Iran is perhaps the core of Israel’s national interest.”

Townhall: The Three-Headed Hydra of the Middle East, by Victor Davis Hanson.

Hanson is often associated with the neo-cons, whereas I lean more in the non-interventionist direction when it comes to foreign policy (not that I am Hanson’s intellectual peer, by a long shot).  That said, I thought this was an intelligent article.  Hanson explored various options that the U.S. could take concerning Russia, Syria, ISIS, and Iran, discussing positives and negatives.

Neil Gorsuch Neil Gorsuch Didn’t Start Fascism Club.

Just to get that out of the way!

Betsy DeVos

Yahoo News: What Betsy DeVos Will Mean for My Autistic Son, by Nish Weiseth.

Weiseth critiques DeVos’ commitment to vouchers and argues that she is ignorant about government law regarding disabled students in public schools.

Townhall: Interview of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, by Cal Thomas.

Conservative columnist Cal Thomas interviews Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.  She talks about such issues as school choice, decentralization, and students with disabilities.  A lot of what she says is vague conservative cheerleading.  Some of her comments are substantive, though.


ThinkProgress: Energy experts give Trump the hard truth: You can’t bring coal back: Coal wasn’t killed by a political “war” — cheap renewables and fracked gas were the culprits, by Dr. Joe Romm.

The title says it all.  Coal is already on its way out, due to renewables and natural gas.



About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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