Nationalist Themes

Friday, August 18, 2017Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 8.49.57 AM

Good Friday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
— The First Draft Team
The Interpreter

As Vehicle Attacks Rise, an Ordinary Object Becomes an Instrument of Fear

By AMANDA TAUB
Police officers on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday night, hours after an attacker driving a van killed more than a dozen people.

Police officers on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday night, hours after an attacker driving a van killed more than a dozen people. David Ramos/Getty Images

This time it was Barcelona. An ordinary van was transformed into a deadly and indiscriminate weapon.
It seemed to be yet another blow to trust in a basic social compact: that people are essentially safe when they walk down the street, relying on drivers to at least try to follow the rules. That accidents would be impersonal and random, and that everyone would try to avoid them.
Even though the automotive terrorist attacks of the past two years are far rarer than accidents, they are a warning that a driver can wield the ordinary car as a weapon. If anything — even something as ubiquitous as a car — can be a weapon, that adds a sense of menace to daily urban life.
Research has found that fear can eventually divide and poison societies, hardening people against perceived outsiders, even causing them to abandon key values. This kind of attack, using one of the most ordinary objects of daily life, could heighten that effect.
Read more »
An anti-Nazi protest in Chicago in 1978. A small group of neo-Nazis had planned a rally in Skokie, Ill., with the free speech support of the American Civil Liberties Union, but that march never happened.

After Backing Alt-Right in Charlottesville, A.C.L.U. Wrestles With Its Role

By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN

The group’s defense of a planned rally in Virginia, before the violence, has parallels to its seminal role in a proposed neo-Nazi gathering in Skokie, Ill., in 1977.

A memorial for the victims in Charlottesville, Va.
MEDIATOR

Where Is the Line? Deadly Protest Is Forcing the Media to Decide

By JIM RUTENBERG

In the wake of a tragedy, media sites are grappling with an issue they have avoided for years.

James Murdoch, the chief executive of 21st Century Fox, in April in New York.

James Murdoch, Rebuking Trump, Pledges $1 Million to Anti-Defamation League

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

Mr. Murdoch, the son of a frequent ally of the president’s, gave a candid statement, via email, against the white supremacist sentiment that swept through Virginia last weekend.

Kara Young, a model, and Donald J. Trump at a film screening in Manhattan in 1998. They dated for two years.

From Embraces to Rebukes: Explaining Trump’s Relationship With Race

By YAMICHE ALCINDOR AND MAGGIE HABERMAN

As questions of racism increasingly dog the president, some point to his past, from dating a biracial woman to efforts to hang out publicly with African-American celebrities, to paint a different picture.

Damage to the commanding officer’s stateroom on the American destroyer Fitzgerald, which collided with a cargo ship near Japan in June.

Top Two Officers on Navy Ship in Deadly Collision Are Relieved of Duties

By ERIC SCHMITT

The ship, the destroyer Fitzgerald, collided with a cargo freighter in the middle of the night, killing seven sailors.

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch is scheduled to speak next month at the Trump International Hotel in Washington before a conservative group.

Neil Gorsuch Speech at Trump Hotel Raises Ethical Questions

By ADAM LIPTAK

Soon after Justice Gorsuch’s speech, the Supreme Court will hear a case about the president’s travel ban, and the hotel is at issue in other cases.

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, second from left, and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, third from left, hope to curry bipartisan support for a carbon tax as part of a larger deal on tax reform.

Some Democrats See Tax Overhaul as a Path to Taxing Carbon

By LISA FRIEDMAN

Two Senate Democrats are advocating a carbon tax plan that would cut the corporate tax rate as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr. Bruce Jessen, left, and Dr. James Mitchell, psychologists who contracted with the C.I.A.

Former Detainees Reach Settlement in C.I.A. Torture Case

By SHERI FINK

A lawsuit against two psychologists who helped devise the C.I.A.’s brutal interrogation program was an unusual effort to demand accountability for tactics adopted after Sept. 11.

Senator Robert Menendez’s upcoming corruption trial may have repercussions beyond his political future.

At Senator Menendez’s Trial, Stakes Are High for Democrats

By SHANE GOLDMACHER

If Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat, is convicted by early January, his replacement is likely to be a Republican, which could affect the health care bill.

Visitors touring National Statuary Hall at the Capitol on Thursday.

Call to Remove Confederate Statues From Capitol Divides Democrats

By THOMAS KAPLAN

Representative Nancy Pelosi urged the removal of the statues from the Capitol, but Senator Chuck Schumer pushed to keep the focus on the president.

White supremacists marched on the grounds of the University of Virginia last week in Charlottesville.

Across the Atlantic, Outrage at Trump — but Little Surprise

By PATRICK KINGSLEY

In Britain and elsewhere in Europe, the president’s comments on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., are being viewed as disgraceful but predictable.

“We can have no tolerance for an ideology of racial hatred,” Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, said in a statement on Wednesday.
CONGRESSIONAL MEMO

Republicans in Congress May Be Stuck in a Relationship With Trump

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER

Some Republican Congress members are creating distance from the president, but they are still depending on the White House.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Gracy Olmstead in The Federalist:
“We should also consider which parts of our history we are most proud of, and most eager to uphold. Conservatives believe in preserving and carrying on the best of the past — not its worst.”
If the events of the past week prove anything to Ms. Olmstead, “it’s that these memorials are splitting us further and further apart.” She urges her readers — even those who do not want to see these statues taken down — to “seek to understand and sympathize” with those who support their removal. At the very least, she writes, “we can mitigate their toxic effect” by adding context or erecting new memorials. Read more »
_____
From the Left
• Gersh Kuntzman in The New York Daily News:
“Ever wonder why there are no statues of Adolf Hitler in Berlin?”
Mr. Kuntzman argues that Americans should treat their Confederate history the same way that Germany treats its Nazi past. He points out that “monuments are never about history itself” but rather about “what the people putting up the monument think about history.” Read more »
_____
More selections »