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Ilhan Omar Urges Congress to Bear Witness to Israeli Occupation

Ilhan Omar Urges Congress to Bear Witness to Israeli OccupationST. PAUL, Minn. — Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib sharply criticized Israel on Monday for denying them entry to the country and called on fellow members of Congress to visit while they cannot. Omar, of Minnesota, suggested President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were suppressing the lawmakers’ ability to carry out their oversight role. “I would encourage my colleagues to visit, meet with the people we were going to meet with, see the things we were going to see, hear the stories we were going to hear,” Omar said at a news conference. “We cannot let Trump and Netanyahu succeed in hiding the cruel reality of the occupation from us.” At Trump’s urging, Israel denied entry to the first two Muslim women elected to Congress over their support for a Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions global movement. Tlaib and…


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The End of the Dan Coats Era

The End of the Dan Coats EraPresident Donald Trump’s feud with his intelligence agencies has flared ever since he took office already chafing about their conclusion on Russian electoral interference. The latest casualty: Dan Coats, who today leaves his post as director of national intelligence, with his deputy, Sue Gordon, reluctantly following him out the door. Joe Maguire now steps in as acting director, and whoever takes over the spot permanently could be, for good or ill, an unusually consequential figure—precisely because of the president’s hostility.Coats’s departure followed what’s by now a familiar pattern: First came the rumors about his fraying relationship with Trump, then reports about various names being floated for his position, all interspersed with direct attacks by the president on the intelligence community—including, after Trump announced Coats’s retirement, his assertion that intelligence agencies had “run amok” and needed someone to “rein it in.” But Coats’s tenure was…


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Planned Parenthood Leaves Federal Program Over Abortion Referral Rule

Planned Parenthood Leaves Federal Program Over Abortion Referral RuleNEW YORK—Planned Parenthood said Monday it’s pulling out of the federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration rule prohibiting clinics from referring women for abortions. Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s acting president and CEO, said the organization’s nationwide network of health centers would remain open and strive to make up for the loss of federal money. But she predicted that many low-income women who rely on Planned Parenthood services would “delay or go without” care. “We will not be bullied into withholding abortion information from our patients,” said McGill Johnson. “Our patients deserve to make their own health care decisions, not to be forced to have Donald Trump or Mike Pence make those decisions for them.” Responding with its own statement, the federal Department of Health and Human Services said that Planned Parenthood affiliates knew months ago about the…


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Kamala Harris’ Medicare for All Problem Is the Democratic Party’s Medicare for...

Kamala Harris’ Medicare for All Problem Is the Democratic Party’s Medicare for…Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D–Calif.) health care flip-flops are, first and foremost, a referendum on Kamala Harris, the candidate, and the fundamental emptiness of her presidential campaign.  Harris doesn’t really care about health policy as policy; instead she appears to view the issue through an exclusively political lens, wanting to be seen as a supporter of Medicare for All and its most popular promises without reckoning with the trade-offs that a real single-payer health care system of the sort proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.). Sanders may be in it for the revolution, but Harris is in it for the optics.  This dynamic helps explain the campaign trail sniping between the two candidates yesterday after Harris reportedly told a group of supporters at a fundraiser that she was “uncomfortable” with Sanders’ Medicare for All plan, a single-payer system that would…


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Netanyahu’s Partisan Streak Has Paid Off, But for How Long?

Netanyahu’s Partisan Streak Has Paid Off, But for How Long?JERUSALEM — In the eyes of critics, Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to bar two Democratic congresswomen at the request of President Donald Trump is the latest reckless gamble by a prime minister willing to sacrifice Israel’s national interests for short-term gain. The move infuriated Democrats and risked turning Israel into even more of a partisan issue at a time when Americans are fiercely divided and Trump faces a tough fight for re-election. And yet the pursuit of such allegedly short-sighted policies has kept Netanyahu and his Likud party in power for more than a decade, making him the longest-serving leader in Israel’s history. The latest move, popular among his right-wing base, comes as he seeks an unprecedented fourth term in next month’s elections. Israel’s steady, two-decade lurch to the right shows no sign of reversing. Its refusal to accede to international demands for concessions…


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Trump’s Phone Calls With Wayne LaPierre Reveal NRA’s Influence

Trump’s Phone Calls With Wayne LaPierre Reveal NRA’s InfluenceThree days after a pair of mass shootings in Ohio and Texas that left 31 people dead, President Donald Trump was preoccupied with visions of a Rose Garden ceremony.His daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, had proposed the idea of a televised Rose Garden appearance as a way to nudge her father toward supporting universal background checks. The president had recently suggested he was open to the gun-control measure, tweeting “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform.” To be sure, this was similar to how he’d responded to other mass shootings during his 31-month presidency, and each time, the push for action fizzled. The prospect of a Rose Garden ceremony, however, his daughter thought, where Trump could sign a document, call it “historic” and “unprecedented”—and receive positive media attention—might…


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