Tangent: I have my daily or almost-daily sites and my 3x/week sites. I have some of you in my sidebar, so I can keep up with those effortlessly. I have also a few sites that I hit once a week, and seem to manage that without any exterior reminders. But there are about a dozen sites that I really should check every 2-3 weeks and I just don't. I will have to devise some Method, such as will assist a Bear of Uncertain Memory.
Boomer Pharisaism, by Barton Swaim first identifies Hillary Clinton's style of explanation as similar in style to that of a Public Information officer (Re: Travelgate, according to her memoirs):
Banal, grammatically weird, not quite falsifiable. The controversy did happen “in a partisan political climate,” true enough. When are politics not partisan? But it’s unclear to me what Clinton intends by calling the episode “the first manifestation of an obsession for investigation that persisted into the next millennium.” She seems to mean the press is still trying to dig up stuff on her, as if that observation has any relevance to the controversy she’s purporting to relate. But anyway, digging up stuff is what the press does, so again: true enough.Swaim, a fascinating political character out of South Carolina, seems to be tentatively aligned with conservatives, but with an eyebrow raise and a hint of a smirk.
The comparison of her style with that of Donald Trump is almost too obvious to remark. Whereas Clinton’s style is careful and boring, his is heedless and bonkers. More illuminating, I think, is a comparison between Clinton’s style and that of another ferociously ambitious and calculating politician: Richard Nixon.
Let us note that Clinton, in Swaim's comparison to Nixon, comes off far the worse. Barton has done his homework, and in the confessional parts of Nixon's autobiography RN, he writes lines - not of saintly contrition but very decent stand-up quality - that one cannot imagine being said or written by Hillary Clinton.
Also at First Things at present: Peter Leithart's three-part series about Macbeth,including an analysis that the less-mentioned second and third murders he causes represent a deterioration through ever-more-basic levels of human loyalty. From regicide and authority he descends to killing old friendship and finally, mother and children. Good stuff. R R Reno has a nice differentiation between nationalism and xenophobia; Peter Hitchens has a commentary on the aspirations of contemporary Russia from one who was a reporter in Moscow at the fall of the Iron Curtain; an essay on Pius XII vs Hitler, a continuation of the correction of the Hitler's Pope record of the last generation; a comparison of Donald Trump to Benjamin Disraeli - I mean, where else are you going to find such a thing?
And finally, an interesting biography of Frederick Law Olmstead, The Genius Of Winding Paths, which not only provides background on the designing of Central Park, but his earlier career, walking across the antebellum South and six months in England, reporting back to publishers and newspaper as he went. Objective and sometimes prescient observations.