Wiretap: As 2017 nears its end, it’s time (even for secularists) to say a prayer for democracy

It’s that time of year so the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne asks that you join him in a prayer for democracy, which clearly needs it. In the year of Trump, Dionne cites Reinhold Niebuhr’s judgment: “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”

It may be the holiday season for most of us, but it’s crazy time for accountants and tax lawyers who are spending every waking moment looking for every possible loophole in the hastily thrown together tax overhaul. You can guess now who the winners will be. It was ever thus. Via the New York Times.

Here’s one tax tip you should definitely follow: Don’t run out and prepay your 2018 property tax bill before reading this article. And calling your accountant. And maybe your congressman. Via the Washington Post.

As year one of the Trump-fake news showdown nears an end, Politico’s Jack Shafer asks who’s winning. It depends, of course, on how you measure these things. But it’s unarguable that Trump’s ratings are down and the “failing” New York Times’ circulation numbers are soaring.

After going to see “Darkest Hour,” movie critic Mike Huckabee says Trump reminds him of Churchill. Let’s just say that not everyone agrees. Historians, in fact, are ready to fight Huckabee’s assertions on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields and in the streets. Via the New York Times.

From The National Review, David French looks into the latest disgrace from Breitbart News, in which its editor-in-chief appears on CNN and admits that its coverage of Roy Moore and the persecution of his accusers had nothing to do with journalism and everything to do with protecting — who else? — Donald Trump.

This is not the year in review. It’s just a Vox compilation of nine of the most bizarre things that Trump did in 2017 that you may have forgotten. Like praising a brutal military dictator’s … shoes.

Testing critic Diane Ravitch asks how much more evidence we’ll need before we see the problems with the use of standardized testing as a way to judge schools and teachers. Via The New Republic.

For Palestinians, Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital means only one thing — the end of any possible peace process. Via the New Yorker.

The battle with ISIS seems to be nearly over, but the uneasy alliance formed to defeat ISIS may mean that the post-ISIS Middle East could be just as perilous. Via the Atlantic.

Photo by Long Thien via Flickr: Creative Commons