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Just a Heads Up

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What's At Stake

Here is a good summary of some things to look at as we move toward what appears to be the endgame of the Iranian nuclear negotiations. One thing Jeff Goldberg points out is that any near, or frankly even long-term, threat of an Iranian nuclear attack is at best a secondary issue. The immediate and real issue is how regional actors see the agreement - particularly Saudi Arabia and perhaps Egypt. Do they believe that the agreement walls off the Iranians' ability to become a nuclear power enough to refrain from starting a drive for their own nuclear weapons? That is a critical test of any agreement.

There's another aspect to this drama that is important to understand in order to put everyone's reactions into a proper context. You've heard a lot about not only the Israelis', but also the Saudis' and other Arab states', fears about this deal. This isn't just fluff kicked up by domestic warmongers and partisans. The key is why are they so upset.

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Chat About the Intersection of Race, Gender & Politics in The Hive

Slice contributor Samhita Mukhopadhyay will join The Slice's editor Nona Willis Aronowitz Thursday at 1 p.m in The Hive (sub req) to chat about the intersection of race, gender, and politics. Mukhopadhyay is a writer and former executive editor of Feministing.com. She's the author of Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life and contributed this piece on Mindy Kaling and race to The Slice. She is passionate about race, gender politics, technology and the media.

Netanyahu Feeling Squeezed in Right-wing Coalition?

I wanted to flag this article on the coalition negotiations in Israel which I think captures a key reality of the moment. It's very important. Netanyahu's party won a resounding victory on March 17th. But the outcome (a narrow right wing coalition) is far less appealing for him than the one he faced when he assembled in 2009 and 2013. In both earlier cases he was able to get buy in from center or center-left parties. That gave him a fig leaf on the international stage - continued settlement activity but with the appearance of on-going two state negotiations which he nonetheless made sure would not g anywhere. This allowed him to pursue what was basically a right wing agenda while also keeping the demands of the US and Europe at bay. It also gave him room for maneuver within his coalition to pivot a bit right or left as conditions warranted.

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Oops. Somebody Didn't See That Coming

Did the State of Indiana have any idea what it was getting itself into? Reading the history of this particular law, the relatively quiet progress of the legislation, followed by the avalanche of criticism and boycotts, the answer seems almost certainly to be no. There's now even a backdraft of commentary that the criticism and boycotts are somehow hypocritical since 19 other states and the federal government have similar laws. And the state's hapless Gov. Mike Pence is claiming that Barack Obama voted for a similar law when he was in the Illinois state legislature. Indeed, Pence now says he will push for a new law to "clarify" the law that's gotten his state in all this trouble.

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