Neera Tanden

As I write this, the fate of President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, remains unknown. At least one Democrat — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who would have been comfortably in the center of the Republican party of thirty years ago — has already said he will vote against her nomination. Some relatively moderate Republicans, such as Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, have also indicated they will vote against Tanden. It is very possible that Tanden will become the first major defeat of Biden’s term. …


Photo by Libertinus, used under a Creative Commons license

Well, Michael Che certainly stirred things up, didn’t he? With one little joke, really a throwaway line in Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” sketch, Che set social media abuzz and sent pro-Israel activists into a tizzy.

The joke? “Israel is reporting that they vaccinated half of their population,” said Che, the show’s co-head writer, “and I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.”

Always on the lookout for anything that can possibly be interpreted as antisemitic, especially when the alleged antisemite is not white nor from the right wing, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and others pounced on…


There is a gaping whole in the fabric of the U.S. constitutional system, one that has been horribly exposed and presents a danger that all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, should be able to unite to confront.

The danger of an autocratic, ambitious person rising up to throttle what democracy we have in this country is very real and has perhaps never been more apparent than it is right now. Yes, Donald Trump is out of office, but the wounds he left are yawning and inviting the next aspiring autocrat to take his place.

Some have made the staggeringly incorrect…


Photo by Turnip 1

In the wake of the attempted coup at the United States Capitol building this week, calls for impeachment or for invoking the 25th Amendment have erupted like a geyser. Speaking for the minority, I have argued that these are not realistic ambitions. But there is a way forward, one which is not getting nearly enough attention, but which stands a better than even chance of success.

Neither impeachment nor the 25th Amendment are realistic. Both ultimately depend on a 2/3 vote in the Senate. Impeachment requires that for conviction of a president and removal from office. The 25th does not…


As the month of August gave way to September, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history fell victim to a combination of Lewy body dementia and Covid-19.

Tom Seaver was likely the best pitcher it was ever my privilege to watch. His fastball, powered by the bets use of powerful legs of any pitcher ever, was dominant, and he threw it with such consistency and accuracy that a hitter who wasn’t aggressive at the plate against him would find himself in an 0–2 hole very quickly.

But try and gear up for that fastball, and he’d throw a slider…


Karen Bass with John Lewis in Ghana

I’ve long believed that Biden will pick Kamala Harris as his VP nominee. I’m not a fan of hers, but there aren’t many good options. Still, there is one.

Karen Bass is someone centrists would have a tough time objecting to but would help sway progressives to get out the vote.

In terms of a progressive option, I don’t believe Elizabeth Warren is seriously being considered, both because too many centrists hate her and because the Democrats don’t want an all-white ticket. The latter is a good reason, the former is certainly not one I care about. Whether your views…


Mahmoud Nawajaa and two of his children not long before the kids had to watch their dad dragged away, blindfolded and handcuffed, at 3 AM by Israeli soldiers

In the middle of the night, and in front of his three young children, Israeli forces raided the home of Mahmoud Nawajaa and arrested him. It was around 3 AM in Abu Qash, a small village near Ramallah when, according to Mahmoud’s wife, Ruba Alayan, “Around 50 soldiers were there. They broke the doors and the locks, and they covered Mahmoud’s eyes, handcuffed him, and also took his computer and some personal effects.”

Nawajaa is the General Coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee. Alayan said their children “…woke up and they were terrified. …


The recent controversies around antisemitic statements made by athletes DeSean Jackson and Stephen Jackson, and entertainment mogul Nick Cannon have raised troubling questions about how to address antisemitism, especially now that it is on the rise. There is a clear need to build much stronger connections between the fight to end antisemitism and the antiracist movement for Black lives. Too often these are parallel tracks, sometimes even at odds with one another, rather than the unified struggle they can and should be.

As NBA hall-of-famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pointed out, “Recent incidents of anti-Semitic tweets and posts from sports and entertainment…


One of the reasons that centrist Democrats were desperate to nominate Joe Biden and even more desperate to avoid nominating Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren this year was to secure the support of alienated Republicans. The Lincoln Project, the Never Trumpers and a good number of MSNBC hosts are key parts of that group, and Democrats believed that progressives would have no choice but to support the Democratic nominee while the anti-Trump Republicans might be scared off by a progressive nominee.

Whether or not that strategy was wise, the former Republicans are now part of the Biden coalition and they…


Labour MP Rebecca Long-Bailey

The United Kingdom’s centrist Labour Party head, Keir Starmer, stirred up a vexing controversy when he decided to remove MP Rebecca Long-Bailey from her position as Shadow Secretary of State for Education. Long-Bailey, who is associated with Labour’s left wing and its former leader, Jeremy Corbyn, had shared an article by a prominent actress in which she repeated the unfounded rumor that American police officers had learned the “knee on the neck technique” that Derek Chauvin used to kill George Floyd at a training in Israel.

After the bruising controversies over antisemitism in the U.K. that some believe helped lead…

Mitchell Plitnick

Author of "Except for Palestine," with Marc Lamont Hill. President of ReThinking Foreign Policy, writer, speaker, Podcaster, blogger.

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