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Bibi's Big Comeback

Polls just closed in Israel and a raft of exit of polls show a big comeback for Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud, who closed the last two days with a round of racist, anti-Arab Israeli appeals to consolidate the right wing vote in Likud. It seems to have worked. The exit polls don't all agree. But most show a virtual tie between Labor and Likud in the high 20 seat range. In other words, both major parties seem to have over-performed their numbers.

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Netanyahu Closes Hard Right and Racist

We're in that liminal phase of election day in Israel which is always so difficult for political obsessives because we simply do not know what is happening. Polls stay open until 10 PM local time in Israel (4 PM eastern). The big news of the day is a final day series of racist invocations from Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Likud campaign begging right-wing voters to turn out because of a purported wave of Arab-Israeli voters voting 'en masse', helped along by foreigners, leftists, NGOs and the media, intent on driving him from office. Over the course of the day, Netanyahu sorta kinda tried to amend these statements slightly. But not really. And then not at all. After stating definitively yesterday that he will never allow a Palestinian state to come into existence on the West Bank, Netanyahu has decided to close out hard-right, racist and dark.

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Willfully Blind

Conor Williams takes on David Brooks over poverty and character:

So when Brooks writes, "It’s not only money and better policy that are missing in these circles; it’s norms," he's being willfully blind. Stable marital norms are difficult to develop, refine and maintain at any income. In the face of extraordinary adversity—consider that approximately half of American students are growing up in low-income families—we should expect what he terms "an anarchy of the intimate life."

Brooks worries that, for the poor, "there are no basic codes and rules woven into daily life, which people can absorb unconsciously and follow automatically." But there are codes! They simply happen to be punishing, degrading codes shaped by poverty and material and educational inequality. In short, norms are built on resources and opportunities.

Read it here.

'It Is Going To Cause A Lot Of Turmoil'

Some very telling remarks from the Republican governor of Wyoming about the chaos that will ensue if the Supreme Court throws out Obamacare subsides on the federal exchange. Gov. Matt Mead goes so far as to say he hopes the court upholds the law, even though he personally thinks Obamacare is bad policy.

"I think we will be one of many, many states that will be scrambling, trying find an answer and seeing whether Congress can provide the statutory fix that would be needed," Mead said.

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