Patterico's Pontifications


Rumors Swirl About the Death of Abbas

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:08 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Twitter is abuzz with rumors coming allegedly from Middle Eastern sources that Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has died. Abbas checked into a hospital in Ramallah nearly a week ago with what was thought to be pneumonia, and he has spent some time on a respirator. He had been expected to be released by this weekend, but was held over. Hebron Radio reported his death a few hours ago, but then has apparently since walked back the report. Fatah is said to have released a statement denying that Abbas is now consulting directly with Arafat.

More if and when this story develops.


California Could Save the House for Republicans

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am

Thanks to the state’s goofed-up primarily system:

After months of optimism that the state’s June 5 primary would position them to pick off seven Republican-held districts in November — a substantial down payment on reclaiming the House — Democrats are now trying to ensure that they do not hurt themselves because of their unusually crowded slates of candidates.

With so many Democrats running, the party’s fear is that the vote will be splintered, allowing Republicans — who have fewer candidates — to dominate some primaries. The party and allied groups are spending more than $4 million on just three campaigns, intervening in one contest to prop up a favored candidate; attacking a Republican from the right in another; and even reminding people not to waste their votes on “ghost candidates” who have dropped out yet remain on the ballot.

As any progressive activist will explain through gnashed teeth, the head-snapping scramble is because of the state’s “top two” open primary system, which allows the two leading vote-getters — regardless of political parties — to advance to the general election.

My sober political analysis:


This Open Thread Does Not Exist

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:50 am

Like the senior administration official who was quoted by numerous news organizations, this open thread does not exist. Sure, it appears to. You think you’re looking at it right now. But you are Fake News. President Trump says this thread does not exist, and President Trump does not lie.

Show your support for President Trump by leaving a comment below. Any negative comments about President Trump do not exist.

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 174

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is Trinity Sunday. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Ich liebe den Höchsten von ganzem Gemüte” (I love the Highest with my entire being).

Today’s Gospel reading is John 3:1-17.

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

We remember Nicodemus from John’s passion, from the reading on Good Friday.

We already had the last four verses of this reading, including the famous “for God so loved the world” passage, two months ago, on the fourth Sunday in Lent. If a guy in a rainbow wig (now serving life in prison, per JVW) thought this was important enough passage to take to all the sporting events, so it can’t hurt us to see it twice. Now we have what leads up to it in the Gospel reading, along with a musical offering to give deeper meaning to the words.

The text of today’s piece is available here. Here the words for the opening aria, and the beginning of the recitative, including the famous line: “God so loved the world!”

2. Aria A

I love the Highest with my entire being,
He also has the greatest love for me.
God alone
shall be my soul’s treasure,
in which my eternal source of goodness lies.

3. Recitative T

O love, which none other resembles!
O priceless ransom!
The Father has given his child’s life
over to death on behalf of sinners
and all of these, who heaven’s kingdom
had taken lightly and lost,
are elected to blessedness.
God so loved the world!

Happy listening!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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