Pope Francis Brilliantly Dismisses Petulant Donald Trump

Hmm, let’s see here. . .Donald Trump, who appears poised to win his second Republican presidential primary, thinks Vladimir Putin is a “great leader,” admires the late Saddam Hussein for “killing terrorists” and is wowed by the “genius” and “toughness” of Kim Jong Ill, the mad dog oppressor of the North Korean people. On the other hand, the developer-turned-schlock TV character thinks Pope Francis I, defender of the poor and migrants, advocate of kindness and mercy, critic of wealth and privilege, is “disgraceful” and “a pawn” of corrupt political interests. What’s wrong with this picture? Everything, which also is what’s wrong with ...

Donald Trump’s New Punching Bag: Pope Francis

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Not content with spewing country club card room invective—“loser,” “jerk,” etc.—at other Republican presidential candidates, Donald Trump now has turned on Pope Francis I. The pontiff is currently on a pastoral visit to Mexico, where over the course of the next few days he will meet with indigenous people and business leaders, celebrate Mass at the shrine of the country’s patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe, visit a prison and lunch with seminarians. His itinerary consciously mirrors the journey of Mexican and Central American migrants northward to the Rio Grande and will culminate in Ciudad Juarez, where the pope will celebrate a ...

Note to Donald Trump: Interrogation Under Torture Just Doesn’t Work

Of all the things I ever anticipated about the pursuit of opinion journalism, having to argue against torture was not one of them. And yet here we are again. The Bush-Cheney White House took advantage of the panicked aftermath to 9/11 to make the torture of captured Islamic extremists national policy, and had the CIA put together a secret international gulag in which to work their will out of sight. There’s probably a psychoanalytic explanation for all this—Bush and Cheney’s guilt over failure to prevent the deaths of so many Americans; perhaps panic over the blow to their masculinity delivered by ...