clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Vox Sentences: Make globalism great again

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

Neoliberal sellout globalism lives to fight another day in France; New Orleans decides that maybe monuments honoring racist terrorists are bad.

En Marche!

Emmanuel Macron making neoliberalism great again Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images
  • Et voila: The young centrist ex-finance minister and investment banker Emmanuel Macron will face off against National Front far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of France’s presidential election. [Ministère de l'Intérieur]
  • Macron came in first with 24 percent of the vote; Le Pen got 21.3 percent, the Gaullist conservative former Prime Minister François Fillon got 20 percent, and the far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon got 19.6 percent. But because of France's unusual runoff system, the latter two got wiped out completely despite getting basically the same share of the vote as the top two.
  • One of the most notable things about the result is that the final opinion polls totally nailed it, to within a percentage point or two of the ultimate result. [FiveThirtyEight / Nate Silver]
  • The result was a historic defeat for the ruling Socialist Party, whose candidate Benoît Hamon (who counted Thomas Piketty as an adviser and championed a basic income) came in a very distant fifth place. It’s an ironic result, since Macron’s platform is much closer to the current, wildly unpopular Socialist President François Hollande than Hamon’s was. Apparently the party label mattered more than actual ideology. [FT / Anne-Sylvaine Chassany]
  • Hamon immediately endorsed Macron, saying, “I make a distinction between a political adversary and an enemy of the Republic.” [The Telegraph]
  • Fillon agreed, declaring, "There is no choice but to vote against the far right," and Hollande has endorsed Macron as well. The mainstream forces in French politics are attempting to form a "Republican Front" to keep the National Front from taking power at all costs, just as they did, successfully, in the 2002 election when Le Pen's even more racist father made the runoff. [NYT / Adam Nossiter]
  • The main holdout is Mélenchon, who, like Le Pen, is pro-Kremlin and anti-EU and has pointedly refused to join everyone else on the mainstream left and right in backing Macron. [NYT / Aurelien Breeden]
  • Macron starts the runoff campaign 26 points ahead of Le Pen. Even if Trump and Brexit have given you pause about trusting polls, remember — Remain and Hillary Clinton were only ahead by about 2 points or less. This is just a totally different situation, and there's every reason to believe Macron will win handily. [FiveThirtyEight / Nate Silver]
  • So what will the Macron presidency be like? He has promised to cut public sector jobs, reduce corporate taxes, and roll back labor market regulations meant to protect workers. [Dissent / Cole Stangler]
  • But he also wants €50 billion in investment in youth jobs and green energy, he was the most pro-immigration candidate in the race, he has backed “eurobonds” to help struggling European economies like Spain and Greece, and he wants a unified European budget to continue progress toward unifying the continent. [Reuters / Noah Barkin​]

Working for the shutdown

Mitch McConnell’s nightmares keep coming back again and again Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Trump’s first 100 days come to a close on Saturday, April 29. And his biggest legislative accomplishment by then could be … a government shutdown. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • The continuing resolution now funding the government runs out at midnight on the night of Friday, April 28. Normally, with unified Republican control of the White House and Congress, getting another funding bill passed wouldn't be a hard task. But the Trump administration does not do things normally.
  • The White House wants to include funding for a border wall and potentially to defund Planned Parenthood and some Obamacare funding, measures that would almost guarantee a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. [Politico / Josh Dawsey, Jake Sherman]
  • The Obamacare dynamic is complicated, but important. The law's cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), which help low-income people on the exchanges with copays and deductibles, are funded through the normal appropriation process, and Trump is threatening to cut them, or make funding conditional on funding a border wall. Without the subsidies, the exchanges could destabilize, and many insurers would likely pull out. [Vox / Dylan Scott]
  • "We expect a massive increase in military spending. We expect money for border security in this bill," White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said on Meet the Press. "And it ought to be. Because the president won overwhelmingly." Reminder that is sadly still necessary: The president did not win overwhelmingly; he in fact got fewer votes than his opponent. [NYT / Matt Flegenheimer, Thomas Kaplan]
  • It's not clear how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or House Speaker Paul Ryan feels about the administration's apparent interest in risking a shutdown. McConnell has said in the past that the GOP "owns the government shutdown brand. It's not a good brand." [NYT / Carl Hulse]
  • As a reminder, here’s what actually gets shut down if the government, er, shuts down. Air traffic control keeps going; National Institutes of Health research largely does not. [Washington Post / Brad Plumer]
  • There have been 18 government shutdowns since the congressional budget process began in the 1970s. But far more have been predicted than actually occurred, and the odds are still pretty good that a stopgap spending bill will pass by Friday. [Washington Post / Dylan Matthews]

“Recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state”

The now-removed Battle of Liberty Place monument, complete with horrifying inscription. Dorothea Lange / Farm Security Administration
  • At 2 am on Monday, the New Orleans Police Department removed the Battle of Liberty Place monument, a longstanding marker honoring a violent uprising against black suffrage and Reconstruction by the White League terrorist group in 1874. [The Times-Picayune / Beau Evans]
  • You can read the monument’s inscription above. It praises the 1876 election — in which Republican Rutherford B. Hayes agreed to abandon Reconstruction and allow Southern states to deny freed slaves their civil rights in exchange for winning the presidency — which the 1932 inscription declares, “recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state.” [The Progressive / Adolph Reed]
  • The event being commemorated came as Reconstruction was nearing its end, as the economy sank into depression and President Ulysses S. Grant's popularity plummeted. Just a year earlier, Louisiana had endured the Colfax massacre, in which Democratic-aligned anti-Reconstruction paramilitaries murdered between 60 and 150 black Republicans. The Supreme Court would later overturn the perpetrators’ convictions. [Smithsonian / Danny Lewis]
  • The Battle of Liberty Place was less bloody than Colfax (not that that’s a particularly high bar). But the White League did successfully seize control of New Orleans for a day, killing 13 police officers and six civilians in the process and only backing down when President Grant ordered the army to depose them. [Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities / Justin A. Nystrom]
  • The monument to the White League's effort came up in 1891, as Jim Crow laws were being passed in the state legislature. The inscriptions didn't come until 1932. Then in 1974, the city added a plaque clarifying, "Although the ‘battle of Liberty Place’ and this monument are important parts of the New Orleans history, the sentiments in favor of white supremacy expressed thereon are contrary to the philosophy and beliefs of present-day New Orleans.” [NYT]
  • The city council had ordered the monument down, as well as other statues honoring Confederate generals and President Jefferson Davis, in December 2015. But Mayor Mitch Landrieu had been hamstrung by court proceedings over the monuments until recently. [The New Orleans Advocate / Jeff Adelson]
  • Presumably, getting rid of memorials honoring racial terrorism and treason is uncontroversial, right? LOL, nope. There was a vigil protesting the monuments' removal at the site of the Jefferson Davis statue, where one supporter of the monuments told reporters, "These men were great leaders. They were American patriots. They believed they were doing the right thing and they were heroes." [New Orleans Advocate / Jeff Adelson, Jeff Nowak​]


  • On April 21, for the first time since the 19th century, Britain went a full day without coal. [NYT / Katrin Bennhold]
  • How dogs became "doggos": a history. [NPR / Jessica Boddy]
  • Game Change author Mark Halperin was seated next to a dog with a bow tie on an airplane, and for some inexplicable reason he DID NOT LIKE IT. [Slate / Matthew Dessem]
  • If libertarianism is such a good idea, why aren’t people voting with their feet and moving to libertarian states and cities? [Forbes / Adam Ozimek]
  • On the first Earth Day, scientists and activists were predicting mass overpopulation and worldwide famine. That obviously didn't happen — in part because governments took those warnings seriously and adopted regulations. [Smithsonian / Hannah Waters]


  • “Prosecutors say an Alaska dentist charged with Medicaid fraud pulled a sedated patient’s tooth while riding a hoverboard.” [Associated Press]
  • “Even in Game of Thrones, the laws of physics and biology and consistency allow for fire-breathing dragons and undead warriors and interminable winters, but not for non-white people living in most of Westeros.” [The Guardian / Mohsin Hamid]
  • “And I thought to myself, ‘With your genetic predisposition for psychosis and my propensity to withhold affection, you’re gonna be something else, little noir baby.’” [Autostraddle / Heather Hogan]
  • “A 28-year-old German-Russian citizen took out a five-figure loan to bet that Borussia Dortmund shares would drop, then bombed the soccer team's bus in an attack he tried to disguise as Islamic terrorism in a scheme to net millions, German officials said Friday.” [Associated Press / Frank Jordans]
  • “Bannon … said, in an interview with C-SPAN, in January, 1995, that Biosphere 2, which produced high levels of carbon dioxide, was an ideal place to study the effects of greenhouse gases. Speaking about scientists who study climate change, Bannon added, ‘Many of them feel that the earth’s atmosphere in a hundred years is what Biosphere 2’s atmosphere is today.’ Bannon went on to run Breitbart, which routinely describes climate science as fraudulent.” [New Yorker / Connie Bruck]

Watch this: Why Philadelphia has thousands of murals

Philly has thousands of murals. How did it happen? [Vox / Phil Edwards]

Read more

If you really respect Trump voters, tell them the truth

“Rural America” doesn't mean “white America” — here's why that matters

Rich charities keep getting richer. That means your money isn’t doing as much good as it could.

The new Oprah movie about Henrietta Lacks reopens a big scientific debate

How Feud recreates the world of 1963 Hollywood, according to its production designer

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.