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The Mentality of Occupation

I believe the Palestinians deserve a state. But as a Jew and a Zionist I've long believed that you don't have to care about justice or fairness or anything else for the Palestinians or care anything about the Palestinians at all to support the creation of a Palestinian state. It is obviously in Israel's interest. To be clear, I'm not at all indifferent to the Palestinian people and their aspirations for a state and the dignity of self-determination. Quite the opposite. My point is simply to say that if your thing is the fate of Israel and the Jewish people, self-interest is - or should be - entirely adequate to come to this conclusion.

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This is Simply Mesmerizing

Here's video of a massive fireworks ceremony filmed by a drone flying through the show.

To see a larger version, which I strongly recommend, click 'read more' to see the full post.

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Richard Mellon Scaife Dies at 82

Richard Mellon Scaife died this morning at the age of 82. The cause was cancer, a diagnosis he announced in his newspaper less than 2 months ago. His national profile had diminished considerably since the middle 90s when he became a Koch brothers like figure, vilified by Democrats as the funder and propagator of various conspiracy-theory peddling groups attacking then-President Clinton, and cheered for the same reasons by conservatives. Oddly Scaife and Clinton himself managed a reconciliation of sorts during the late Bush years. There were also less known aspects of Scaife's philanthropy: he was a major supporter of and a contributor to Planned Parenthood.

One note: Scaife's fortune was recently reported as $1.3 billion. Obviously that's an astronomical sum - enough to keep numerous organizations humming along for a lifetime, as he did. But this strikes me as another sign of the impact of the last twenty years. In today's terms, he would only make it into the mid-tier of major politics-playing plutocrats.

Postscript: A good portrait of the man in this WaPo obit.

King Charles

If you're getting ready for your Fourth of July weekend and want to read something both oddly fascinating and hilarious, read this piece Tom Kludt wrote this afternoon about a guy named Charles Johnson and his new book with St Martin's Press. Johnson's the guy who's been riling up the aftermath of the Mississippi senate runoff with widely disputed claims that the Cochran campaign was paying black voters to vote for Cochran. But more interestingly he's been on a kind of crazy twitter tear with a mix of manic self-promotion, raw trash talk, accusations of complicity in killing a man, a bizarre series of threats and macho-jousting with one of the DC GOP top press guys and a running series of battles with various people tied to the Cochran campaign. He's the guy who published call-in information for his McDanielite supporters to crash a Cochran conference call yesterday, a call which was very much crashed and led to the unforgettable moment when the call was taken over by a wild McDanielite ranting about buying the votes of black people who would otherwise be out "picking Cotton" - making clear once and for all there's definitely nothing racial about any of this.

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