Third-highest ranking official at the Justice Department stepping down

Brand, 44, who has only been in her Senate-confirmed position for nine months, would have been in line to take over the supervision of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation if Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, the department’s No. 2 official, was fired by Trump or recused himself from the matter.

.. Brand is leaving the Justice Department for a top legal job at Walmart

.. When Trump was asked by a reporter whether he was then more likely to fire Rosenstein and whether he had confidence in him, Trump replied, “You figure that one out.”

.. With Brand’s departure, Solicitor General Noel Francisco is next in line at the Justice Department to oversee the Russia investigation after Rosenstein.

.. The news that Brand is leaving came as a surprise to many people who know her. The Federalist Society just announced Friday that Brand is scheduled to speak next week at a Washington chapter lunch.

.. Brand has one of the department’s more politically challenging jobs, managing the lawyers who litigate civil issues, including Trump’s travel ban as well as civil rights, environmental and antitrust cases.

Apocalypse Not

the latter the founder of what Hampshire College’s Betsy Hartmann calls “apocalyptic environmentalism.”

.. only a radical transformation of modern society (usually combining dramatic changes in personal behavior along with a heavy dose of state intervention) can save us.

The wizard and the prophet of Mann’s title are, respectively, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, the former the agronomist widely credited as the father of the Green Revolution

.. Above all, the Vogtians say, we need less: less consumption, less stuff, fewer people, and so on.

.. The world really would have suffered catastrophic famines if Borlaug hadn’t developed high-yield, disease-resistant varieties of wheat.

.. The same goes for climate change, which will not be helped by some centrally planned, Chinese-style “Green Leap Forward,” but by a multitude of technological advances that in turn require a thriving capitalist economy to fund, develop, commercialize and make affordable.

.. environmentalism is itself a luxury that few poor countries can adequately afford

.. Borlaugians are environmentalists, too. They simply think the road to salvation lies not through making do with less, but rather through innovation and the conditions in which innovation tends to flourish, greater affluence and individual freedom most of all.

.. To the extent that starvation is a phenomenon of recent decades — as in places like North Korea and Venezuela — it is mainly the result of gross political mismanagement, not ecological disaster.

.. If environmental alarmists ever wonder why more people haven’t come around to their way of thinking, it isn’t because people like me occasionally voice doubts in newspaper op-eds. It’s because too many past predictions of imminent disaster didn’t come to pass. That isn’t because every alarm is false — many are all too real — but because our Promethean species has shown the will and the wizardry to master it, at least when it’s been given the means to do so.

Comments:

.. The free market can reverse climate change. It just needs to be told what the true costs are.

PoorPeoplesCampaign

Poor, Disenfranchised, Clergy to Launch New Movement For Moral Revival of America: Leaders to Announce Historic Wave of Direct Action, Non-Violent Civil Disobedience

Washington – On Monday, 50 years to the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others called for the original Poor People’s Campaign, organizers will announce a new moral movement to challenge the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and America’s distorted national morality.

The Monday launch of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival by co-chairs Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and other leaders will include the unveiling of details around six weeks of direct action next spring at statehouses and the U.S. Capitol, including plans for one of the largest waves of civil disobedience in U.S. history.

Phil Vischer: Christians and Culture with Miroslav Volf (Episode 275)

The world is a gift from God, and like a pen given by one’s father, it has special significance, because it came from him. (20 min)

The importance of marginality.  Christianity started out on the margins (29 min)

In the process of wanting to shape politics and culture, they misshape themselves.

Attempts to take over culture must result in a parody of the Kingdom of God. (31 min)

I don’t think there is a single stance that Christians should make in regards to culture because culture is varied.

Love of enemy is so fundamental to the Christian faith that if one takes it out of Christianity, it is no longer Christian.  (35 min)

Christianity functions as a club; and faith in Christ is becoming irrelevant.  It doesn’t shape how you act.

Jesus Christ has become a moral stranger – a guy who we don’t think is good for us.

We want what he gives us but we do not know what to do with his demands.

Before: Church: no, but Christ: yes

Now: reject Christ