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The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Full-ish Disclosure

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-Written by Lena Felton (@lenakfelton) and Taylor Hosking (@Taylor__Hosking)


Today in 5 Lines

  • The Office of Government Ethics released President Trump’s financial disclosure, which included a reimbursement of more than $100,000 to his lawyer Michael Cohen for a payment to an unidentified third party.

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee released nearly 2,000 pages of testimony and exhibits related to a 2016 meeting between Trump aides and a Kremlin-connected lawyer. Separately, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s leaders said they agree with an assessment by the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

  • During his testimony before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has been under scrutiny for his conduct and spending, admitted to some of the accusations against him while denying he was wholly to blame.

  • Michigan State University reached a $500 million settlement with 332 victims of Larry Nassar, the former Olympic doctor convicted of sexually abusing young female athletes.

  • The Senate Intelligence Committee voted to advance the nomination of Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to be CIA director.


Today on The Atlantic

  • The 9.9 Percent: “The meritocratic class has mastered the old trick of consolidating wealth and passing privilege along at the expense of other people’s children,” writes Matthew Stewart in this month’s cover story.

  • Lingering Mysteries: It’s been a year since Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to lead the investigation into Russia’s election interference. Here’s what we’ve learned so far. (Natasha Bertrand)

  • The Great Immigration Bargain: Reihan Salam argues that it’s possible for President Trump to implement the restrictionist immigration agenda he wants—he just has to accept that a sweeping amnesty is the only way to make it happen.

  • Year of the Woman?: In order to retake the House, Democrats need to win in Pennsylvania. And they’re going to be relying on these women to do it. (Elaine Godfrey)


Snapshot

President Trump greets Uzbekistan’s president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, at the White House. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

What We’re Reading

New Jersey’s Political Makeover: In the months since Democratic Governor Phil Murphy took the reins from Chris Christie, he’s pushed the state further and further to the left. Now people are wondering: Is he going too far? (Nick Corasaniti, The New York Times)

How House Republicans Are Trying to Win the Midterms: They’re bombarding voters who are less likely to support traditional GOP candidates with Trump-specific digital advertising. (David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner)

‘They’ve Had a Whole Year’: The special counsel’s probe isn’t likely to wrap up any time soon, but that’s not stopping Trump’s team from pressuring Robert Mueller to do so. (Darren Samuelsohn, Politico)

A Historic Win: On Tuesday, Paulette Jordan won the Democratic nomination in Idaho’s governor’s race, bringing her one step closer to becoming the nation’s first Native American governor. Here’s what that means, and what lies ahead. (Carissa Wolf, The Washington Post)

Hoping for Freedom: For families of American citizens detained in Iran, Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal complicates efforts to bring loved ones home. (Arezou Rezvani, NPR)


Visualized

‘It’s a Closed Door’: These graphs show how the Trump administration is dismantling the refugee-settlement program. (Liz Robbins and Miriam Jordan, The New York Times)

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Politics Sunday: Don McGahn, Mueller, Brennan

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Jews Against Israelis: Netanyahu's Hungarian-style Politics

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“The issue now is a conflict between Israel’s identity as a Jewish state and as an Israeli state,” explained right-wing journalist Shimon Riklin on Army Radio. He’s right. That is the basis for the campaign waged by organizations such as the right-wing group Im Tirzu, labeling members of human rights groups as traitors and foreign moles. It also underpins Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Hungarian-style campaign, led by the nation-state law.

The law has in effect eliminated the notion of Israeli citizenship. There is no such thing as Israeli anymore. It’s now an epithet akin to leftist. Now it’s Jewish, while the status of everyone else has been downgraded.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East – subscribe to Haaretz

In a Haaretz op-ed (in Hebrew), former cabinet member Haim Ramon played the innocent, wondering why we are angry, holding protest rallies instead of embracing the new nation-state law. After all, he wrote, it’s only about “granting the right to nationhood exclusively to the Jewish nation,” without harming “individual rights.” All the spokespeople for the ethnocentric right wing, along with their helpers, such as Ramon, have avoided elaborating on the “national” rights granted only to Jews by the law, along with any discussion of violations of the individual rights of the population as a whole.

The bottom line is that this law totally ignores minorities and their rights. Clause 7, for example, provides that the state will encourage and promote the establishment and consolidation of Jewish settlement. This detailed description underscores the fact that only Jews will benefit from all these efforts undertaken by the state, whereas non-Jews won’t. The state won’t develop or encourage or promote or establish and consolidate anything for them. That wouldn’t be in the “national interest,” as the law explicitly states when it comes to Jews.

>> Basic law of basically a disaster? Israel’s nation-state law controversy explained ■ It’s no crime to march for peace | Analysis ■ Netanyahu and Orban: An illiberal bromance spanning from D.C. to Jerusalem

But come on, guys, why be crybabies and make such a big deal of something as trivial as residential communities and housing and associated services? After all, no “individual rights” will be violated, say Ramon and those on the right. But that’s a blatant lie. When a Druze citizen wants a permit to build a house and is denied it for “national” reasons (for not being Jewish), his individual rights are trampled. Is there anything more important to a person than a house?

We should listen to the two people who sponsored the law, ideologues of the new right in the cabinet, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Levin explained that the law’s main objective is to assist judges who have a rightist agenda. “The law gives them tools they never had before. It permits incentives and benefits to be granted based on a desire to maintain a Jewish character,” he said. Last year, Shaked said it would allow judges to favor the Jewish character of the state over its democratic one.

The real target of this Hungarian-style politics is not necessarily minorities, but anyone who doesn’t toe the government line. The nation-state law is the tool to achieve this. Who will determine what  Jewish character is and who will decide who is Jewish and entitled to Levin’s benefits? Not the law, not the courts, but religion and those who speak on its behalf. The key to admission to this world of benefits will not be in the hands of every Israeli, not even of every Jew, but only of government rabbis.

The law already puts hundreds of thousands of people from the former Soviet Union beyond the pale, since they are not recognized as Jews. Many of them vote for Yisrael Beiteinu, the party whose name in Hebrew means “Israel is our home,” but Israel no longer views itself as their home.

Even Israelis considered Jewish now may face a problem. Who will guarantee that they aren’t re-labelled? I’m not sure they will recognize me. I’ve been accused many times of not being Jewish. Others have claimed that I’ve forgotten what it means to be Jewish. If it were up to them, why would they recognize me, a secular person, as their equal? They may predicate the desired recognition on keeping religious commandments and the adoption of a religious lifestyle, in addition to a loyalty oath. “A Jewish nation” is not synonymous with Jews in general, but only with loyal Jews. Think about it. When they have the authority to grant special privileges in a Riklin-style “Jewish state,” do you really think they’ll give them to you?

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Stop whining about 'the politics of envy'. Executive pay is indefensible

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  1. Stop whining about ‘the politics of envy’. Executive pay is indefensible  The Guardian
  2. Full coverage



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