Ireland (and Spain and Norway) Were Right to Recognize Palestine

 Member Newsletter

Yesterday Ireland, Spain and Norway formally recognized a Palestinian state. The U.S. and most other European governments continue to support a “two-state” solution but refuse to recognize a Palestinian state because they say such recognition and such a settlement must emerge from negotiations between the two parties. Meanwhile, numerous other countries throughout the world have already made a declaration similar to Ireland, Spain and Norway’s. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says such recognition amounts to “a reward for terrorism.” Some offer a middle ground. British Foreign Secretary Cameron says the UK won’t recognize a Palestinian state as long as Hamas controls Gaza, etc. etc.

In practice such declarations have no real practical impact. The Palestinians most definitely do not have a state: that is their central grievance. Recognitions don’t change that. But is this actually a bad thing from the perspective of the United States? Or supporters of Israel? Or, really, anyone else?

It is not. It’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing. Much more important than that, it is a necessary thing.



Before we get a verdict, it’s important to recognize that this is justice, regardless of whatever the verdict is. It is a billowing outrage that the three other cases against Donald Trump have been stymied to date by judicial corruption (certainly that’s the case in the two federal prosecutions; the Georgia case is more complicated). But those are different cases. This trial is in a different jurisdiction and about totally different facts and crimes. Both sides were allowed to make their case before a judge who did a good job of controlling the process. Now it’s in the hands of a jury.

I am certainly hoping for a conviction, mostly because the evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable. I’ve always thought this was essentially a jury nullification case. Trump’s only hope for an acquittal is for the jury to essentially say: we’ve heard what you say the law is and we’ve heard the evidence but we just don’t think this is a crime. More realistically, I think Trump’s real hope is a hung jury. Regardless, this is our system. Donald Trump deserves to have his fate in the hands of a jury. And now he does.


No Podcast This Week

Alas, our beloved co-host Kate is sick, so there will be no podcast this week. See you all next week with a new episode!


Site Issues

I wanted to give you a brief update on the server outage we had off and on for much of Tuesday afternoon.

First, we apologize that this happened and especially on such a news-packed day. As members you pay for us to bring you the news and for the site to be online. We take that responsibility very seriously. Unfortunately, we do not yet know the precise cause of Tuesday’s outage. It appears to have originated on our server host’s side. So that left us for much of the day in the uncomfortable position of largely having to wait on their team to figure out and fix the problem. (If you had a problem accessing the site, believe me — it was extremely frustrating on our end too.) We ended the day making some triage changes to keep the site online until the underlying cause is determined.

My words here may seem lawyerly or overcautious. It’s not that. We just don’t want to say more than we know or speculate and have to correct the record later.

Once we know the precise cause we’ll report back to you.


The Babe Ruth of Liars

The Babe Ruth of Liars

Let’s grant the Trump lawyers their point and say Michael Cohen is the “MVP of Liars.” He’s certainly an accomplished liar. But even though I’m probably preaching to the choir, let’s look at this. This is Donald Trump’s argument, the guy who is plagued by all the turncoats, morons, liars and criminals who he’s hired to work for him. Again, Donald Trump is insisting someone is a liar and can’t be trusted. If Michael Cohen is the MVP, what is Donald Trump? The Babe Ruth of Liars?


We’re Tentatively Back …

A very ill-timed site outage deprived many of you of Josh Kovensky’s liveblogging of the closing arguments in the Trump trial. Our vendor is still working under the hood to stabilize things, but the liveblog is back up now. Thanks for your patience. I promise it has been as frustrating for us as it has been for you.


Would Republicans Toss the Filibuster for Trump?

 Member Newsletter

This morning, Punchbowl has an item about Republican senators pledging not to tamper with the filibuster if they win control of Congress and Trump wins the presidency in November. (Yes, unfortunately we have to discuss these things.) Democrats don’t believe them. But Republicans insist they’ll say no to Donald Trump if he demands it. And they can point to 2017 and 2018 when he made those same demands and they refused.

Let me start by noting that Democrats absolutely shouldn’t believe them. Trump is Trump, after all, and Republican senators are Republican senators. But with that said, it is worth reminding ourselves that quite apart from believing Republican pledges or thinking Republicans are invested in values other than power, Republicans actually have interests in the filibuster that Democrats do not.


News Alert

TPM’s Josh Kovensky will be liveblogging closing arguments in the Trump trial beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET Tuesday. Join him and us for a big week, with the jury finally getting the case.


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The first-ever criminal trial of a former president is drawing to a close. On Wednesday morning, Judge Juan Merchan read out his jury instructions, explaining how the panel is to apply the law. He then handed the case over to the jury.



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