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Israel’s far-right, heavily corrupt prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is finally out. He’s been replaced by another far-right tech entrepreneur.
Meanwhile, the normally tight-lipped Apple said it turned over data about Trump’s former White House Counsel Don McGahn.
And lastly, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez went on CNN and dared to point out the biggest flaw in her party’s plans to enact any sort of agenda.
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It finally happened. After 12 years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is out, replaced by a strange government coalition of basically everyone outside of his party in the Israeli government.
But before we get too excited, let’s meet the new Prime Minister. Taking over for Bibi is Naftali Bennett, a former tech entrepreneur whose politics may be just as right wing and reactionary as his predecessor’s.
Bennett has only been in politics about 8 years, and before that made millions in the tech sector. He’s also a former Israeli Commando whose latest post in government was as Minister of Defense, and he’s reportedly bragged about killing Arab people, saying quote: “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there’s no problem with that.” endquote.
Yeah, sounds like this guy isn’t exactly a step up from Netanyahu. He’s also vehemently supportive of Israel’s colonialist settlers.
Bennett took over thanks to a razor-close vote in Parlaiment authorizing a new government by just one vote, 60 to 59, with one abstention. Bennett’s party itself only holds 7 seats in Parlaiment, and managed to take the top slot by creating an eight-party monster coalition aimed at taking Bibi down.
In other words, none of this is particularly stable, and none of it looks particularly good for the Palestinians still suffering after Netanyahu’s final acts of war against them.
AOC Calls Out Centrist Cronies
The Democrats have a problem -- they all know it, but almost none of them will come out and say it. It’s pretty simple: the Republican-friendly coalition of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are essentially stonewalling any bill that Biden wants to pass.
Naturally, most inter-party criticism falls on the left. Which is why Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was on CNN on Sunday defending progressive’s decision to pre-emptivly reject the centrist infrastructure compromise plan that Manchin and co are putting together.
CNN’s Dana Bash tried to corner Ocasio-Cortez into saying whether or not she’d vote for such a marginal compromise bill, to which Ocasio-Cortez responded; “The thing is, is that this isn't the best that we can get."
Then she launched into one of the few open declarations of what’s actually going on;
"I do think that we need to talk about the elephant in the room which is Senate Democrats blocking crucial items in a Democratic agenda for reasons that I don't think hold a lot of water."
The key point that Manchin and his block are trying to make is that there are ten Republicans who can be convinced to play ball, and that Biden and every Democrat to the left of him should place their policy ambitions in those centrist hands. But as we all know, that’s a myth. AOC knows it too, and said as much: “That doesn't really hold water, particularly when we can't even get 10 senators to support a January 6 commission."
We covered this back when it happened. If Manchin couldn’t get Romney and some of the less-Trumpy GOP to back an inquiry into an attempted coup earlier this year, then only a massive idiot would assume that they’re going to get the GOP’s help passing an infrastructure bill. The Democratic party leadership has to know this too which makes the real question clear: what are they going to do about it?
DOJ's New Privacy Boogaloo
The Trump Administration continues to deliver weird news gifts, even from beyond its political grave. This one comes from the New York Times, which reports that in 2018, the Justice Department subpoenaed data from Apple so it could look into White House Counsel Don McGahn.
The exact reasons behind this decision aren’t clear, and probably have something to do with the complicated mess left behind by Trump’s nebulous associations with Russia. But what’s weird about this case is that the Justice Department kept it secret for over two years, and forbade Apple from telling McGahn about it.
And it fits in to the larger context of what’s been going on in the privacy space in the past few months. We’ve recently learned that Trump’s Justice Department aggressively hunted for leakers, going as far as to try to obtain phone records and other data from reporters for the Times, CNN, and Washington Post.
This is all stuff that Biden’s new Attorney General Merrick Garland is going to have to untangle. And right now it’s not quite clear what side he’s going to come down on. The Biden Administration ordered the DOJ to stop seizing reporter’s email, calling it quote “simply wrong.”
But the New York Times notes that there are still a ton of variables as to what the new rules will look like, as far as who’s protected and who’s considered a journalist. If you remember, The Obama administration was particularly zealous at rooting out leaks, so that doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Joe Biden met with the Queen of England on Sunday and managed to not commit any real social faux pas, only telling her that she reminded him of his mother. Isn’t that nice! What a difference from Trump. At least our good president Biden loves and respects a Monarch, which is really what America is all about if you think about it.
CNN reports that GOP Governors are pushing to end mask mandates in schools, once again blaming government overreach for the policy. Kids under 12 won’t be eligible for the vaccine till about Thanksgiving, so the masks make sense, but of course you can’t tell that to the GOP.
A mysterious auction winner paid more than $28 million to ride to space with Jeff Bezos on July 20, becoming one of the first private space tourists to get ripped off by a billionaire’s vanity project. Congrats to whoever that person is! Have a nice flight!
A bipartisan group of lawmakers released two bills on Friday that could completely overhaul the competition and anti-trust system that let big tech establish world-spanning monopolies. We’ll see how well they fare against the tech giant’s inevitable onslaught of lobbying.
AM QUICKIE - JUNE 14, 2021
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn