Thursday, October 04, 2018

Why I Feel Bad Roundup

Are you watching "I Feel Bad"? I'm excited for it -- not the least because it features British-Indian-Israeli-Jewish actor Brian George. The conceit of the show is Sarayu Blue's character going through all the things in her daily life that make her feel bad (like "I'm turning into my mother"). So in honor of that, here are some of things in my life making me feel bad!

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If the Ben Wittes who wrote that bracing Atlantic article explaining why, even though he knows and respects Brett Kavanaugh, he couldn't vote to confirm him was possessed by a demon, he'd have written this Eli Steinberg article on why, despite (in the very barest possible sense) "believing" Ford he still thinks the only way to "return to normal" and "get[] politics out of the pursuit of justice" is to vote to confirm.

Iran's Supreme Leader uses clips of Aly Raisman, among others, to argue that if women dressed more modestly (namely, wore a hijab) they wouldn't be sexually assaulted. That sound you hear is Raisman preparing to break another world record, this time for longest and loudest continuous cussing out of a single human being.

The Canary Mission -- the "pro-Israel" blacklisting site of (mostly young) people who are too-associated with BDS or Palestinian solidarity politics (read my extended thoughts on them here) has very closely guarded its funding sources. But the Forward found one of the donors -- and it's the San Francisco Jewish Federation. (Why I feel slightly better: the Federation concluded that it's funding guidelines were violated and promised not to allow such donations in the future)

More Canary! Here's a Zionist professor noting that he appears on the Canary blacklist despite opposing BDS, simply because he's also opposed certain proposed legal anti-BDS countermeasures (I wonder if I'm on there too?).

An American student of Palestinian ancestry was blocked from entering Israel to study at Hebrew University. Shades of the Michigan letter of recommendation case, except obviously 98% of people are scrambling to invert their position 180 degrees. Oh, and the Israeli ministry that excluded the student (who obtained a visa from the American Israeli consulate in Miami)? It apparently relied on reporting from ... you guessed it: Canary!

Jonathan Cohn reports on one of those annoying political realities that makes academics' and wonks' heads hurt: Bernie Sanders' "Stop BEZOS" bill was both utterly idiotic as policy, and yet likely responsible (in substantial part, at least) for Amazon's announced $15 minimum wage. It's not just "bad policy = good politics". It's that "promoting bad policies is good politics that sometimes can grease the path to good policies"! For anyone who cares both about good political and policy outcomes and really doesn't want to be a hack, that's a recipe for a big ol' frown-y face.

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