This may seem like old news to some people. But I wanted to go back and reread some of the initial reactions to the massacres in southern Israel on October 7th. They are notable in themselves. And I read at least some versions of them in real time. But I felt the need to reread them now to understand the progression of events in North America over the last 5 weeks if not necessarily in Israel/Palestine.
National Students for Justice in Palestine is the national umbrella group which supports and coordinates messaging for over 200 Students for Justice in Palestine campus groups across North America.
On the day after the October 7th attacks, the organization issued this statement as either their first or one of their first statements on the massacres in southern Israel.Read More
Kate Riga is giving us the play by play on Speaker Mike Johnson’s attempt to do exactly what Kevin McCarthy did while not paying the price McCarthy did for doing it. As we’re seeing, he’ll almost certainly pull it off. The House Freedom Caucus guys know he’s one of them, at least genetically related if not identical. That’s helping. They also realize they need to give him some time to get his footing before tossing him overboard. But what stands out most is House Republicans’ great reluctance to shut the government down – more reluctance than I expected. New boss, old boss, the same dynamics govern in the spring, the fall and now in the winter.Read More
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Pretty remarkable things emerging in the House. It appears that Speaker Johnson can’t move his own compromise plan with Republican votes. Or actually he can’t pass the rule that governs how to bring up his bill. So now he’ll now go back to relying on Democratic votes to get it done. He’s already back to the McCarthy rules – what is it? a three weeks in? The difference, presumably, is that House hardliners know he can’t and they’ll give him a pass. They won’t make him pay any price for passing something they claim is unacceptable with Democratic votes. Because he’s their guy.
Not clear how this evolving. But a pretty decent chance we’re looking at a new MO: House hardliners remain pure and Democrats take on the responsibility for actually governing.
Several times I’ve noted this key oddity of the Israel-Hamas war: it is certainly the gravest crisis in Israel in a half century and yet it is being led by an Israeli leader who is now overwhelmingly discredited within his own country. And there is no sign that that public rejection is fading as the war enters its second month. Polls continue to tell the same story. Indeed, last week the right wing daily that was literally founded to support Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel HaYom, called on Netanyahu to resign at the close of the war. The difference is that the costs and dangers of Netanyahu’s continued rule are growing graver and appearing in a starker relief.
One confusion for some in the United States is the belief that the intensity and ferocity of Israel’s response to the events of October 7th is tied to Netanyahu himself. That is not the case. While public opinion is complicated and there are disagreements over strategy, the current war has overwhelming support within Israel. It’s quite unlikely that any head of government who seems at all plausible would be prosecuting it in a different way.
To the extent there are disagreements it’s over what comes afterwards. What happens in Gaza? Who controls Gaza? Is it again governed by some kind of Israeli military occupation? Is it governed by the Palestinian Authority? Is it governed by some kind of international force?Read More
I note a bit of speaking in jest there in the headline. But in our recent podcasts Kate Riga and I have been noting that Sherrod Brown must wish his reelection had coincided with the big abortion referendum that just won in Ohio by 13 percentage points. Could he get his wish? Could this end up on the ballot again in 2024? Let me start by saying that I don’t think he’ll get this lucky. But we can’t rule it out.
Ohio Republicans turned around from their Tuesday defeats to announce that they don’t plan on accepting the results of either the abortion or the marijuana legalization votes. With the marijuana legalization vote there’s actually a fair amount they can do since it was an “initiated statute” rather than a constitutional amendment. At least in theorythey can implement it to death, much as Florida did a few years ago when voters backed the felon enfranchisement. The abortion vote was for a constitutional amendment. So it’s locked in. There’s nothing the gerrymandered legislature can do to keep that text out of the state constitution. But Republicans think they’ve found a way around the state constitution.Read More
A numbers of TPM Readers have written in today asking what’s up since nothing was published on the site today. Is everything okay, etc? Yes, everything’s fine. Friday was a federal holiday. So the staff was off.
Tuesday was another example of an election where polls had raised a lot of doubts about the environment for Democrats. But election results told a different story. Democrats ended up doing quite well. Of course “polls” covers a lot of ground. The “polls” that have atmospherically sent shivers down Democrats’ spines and launched a thousand media think pieces tend to be ones not about Democrats or signature Democratic issues but President Biden. Indeed, just as the results were starting to come in Tuesday night CNN published a poll showing Biden down four points to Trump. So are the polls wrong? Or is reality wrong?
With these questions in mind, it was with no little curiosity that I read this piece by Nate Cohn in The New York Times: Tuesday Was Great for Democrats. It Doesn’t Change the Outlook for 2024.Read More
There’s a report out there which claims that reporters from AP, Reuters and stringers for CNN, NYT et al were actually embedded with the Hamas death squads that swept into southern Israel on October 7th. If they were embedded they had some foreknowledge of the operation. They might even have been able to stop it.
I first saw this story posted by a writer for The National Review and I read the report. I was highly skeptical but I was curious to see what the argument or evidence was.
In short, the whole ‘report’ was a crock. I wouldn’t even say it contains false information per se. It’s really just a matter of a pile of leading questions or questions framed as leading inevitably to very dark conclusions when that’s not the case at all. It basically amounts to saying, hey there were photos and video of Hamas fighters with hostages or streaming through the barrier fence. How did the reporters know to be there? How did they get into Israel from the Gaza Strip? Did they go through the fence too?Read More