How Will Trump’s Trial Affect the Election?

Trump’s New York hush money trial has featured salacious testimony from adult film star Stormy Daniels and frequent fines from Judge Merchan. How will the publicity affect Trump’s chances in 2024?

What once resembled a wall of legal obstacles that stood between Donald Trump and his return to the White House is now looking like little more than a series of speed bumps.

Politically, the indictments may have helped Trump, at least with hardcore Republican voters who fueled his drive toward the 2024 presidential nomination.

…how is Biden not more popular than the guy who stands accused of paying off a porn star to keep quiet about having sex? Is Biden’s unpopularity his own doing?

Is Biden Making the Wrong Call on Rafah?

President Biden has paused a weapons delivery to Israel out of opposition to Israel’s operation in Rafah. Here are three takes on this controversial decision:

By curbing the IDF’s ability to go after Hamas’ hideouts in civilian populated areas, Biden in effect is assuring that this terrorist army, as well as others like Hezbollah, continue to rely on their enemy’s adherence to the rules of warfare as their force multipliers.

Disaffection with Biden’s policies toward Israel and Gaza is not Biden’s problem in Michigan. He has the same problem there that he has everywhere else, which is that Americans as a whole don’t think he’s been a good president.

By speaking out now, Biden was escaping an increasingly untenable position. His stand has the virtue of forcing a needed reckoning.

Netanyahu plainly needs to be challenged…

What Would a Palestinian State Actually Be Like?

Activists are calling for a “free Palestine” and the UN General Assembly has voted to recognize a Palestinian state. Here are three takes on what such a state would actually be like:

…what the campus protesters happily envisage as a utopian, post-Zionist “state for all of its citizens” would under Hamas be one in which Jews were killed, exiled, prosecuted, integrated into an Islamist state or pressed into the servitude of a Levantine version of Solzhenitsyn’s First Circle.

Would such a Palestinian state be much different from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, or Yemen – countries that are engaged in civil wars? Would a Palestinian state be able to free itself in our generation from its hatred for Jews and Israel? The US is suffering from dangerous delusions when it comes to these questions.

The implementation of the two-state solution will take several years and will be a gradual process that would give the moderates on both sides the critical incentives to invest in a future without bloodshed and further suffering.

What Can We Do to Prevent the Spread of Bird Flu?

Here are three takes on what America should be doing right now to stop bird flu from becoming the next Covid pandemic:

Effective bird flu vaccines for poultry have existed for years and are even used routinely in other countries. But, in stark contrast to the Covid-19 pandemic when new vaccines were rapidly developed and rolled out, the US has yet to adopt vaccination as a disease control strategy for bird flu.

All this makes catching potential human cases so urgent. Dr. Bright says that given a situation like this, and the fact that undocumented farmworkers may not have access to health care, the government should be using every sophisticated surveillance technique, including wastewater testing, and reporting the results publicly. That is not happening.

Moving forward, it will be critical for human and animal health sectors — including the CDC and the US Department of Agriculture — to work together on bio-surveillance, including by developing a shared approach to monitoring human and animal populations and by exchanging data, to keep tabs on how the virus is evolving.

Should the NCAA Allow Trans Women to Participate in Women’s Sports?

The NCAA is reviewing its policy on trans athletes. How will they balance calls for inclusion with calls for fairness?

The NCAA’s transgender policy promotes sanctioned cheating. It gives colleges the green light to steal records and win championships with trans-identifying males on women’s teams. It deprives women of competitive opportunities and subjects them to physical, mental and emotional harm.

When play is at its best, it includes as many people as possible. Politics try to taint play and with the opposite impulse, seeking to divide — think of the Boston Marathon’s ban on women or the reason we celebrate Jackie Robinson Day. Time and time again we find that sports is better when we find ways so that we all can play.

“If you’re trying to be ‘fair’ – however fair is defined – then you need to look at individual athletic activities directly,” Safer said. “It would be a matter of taking transgender people who participate in sports and looking at them before and after some of their treatments and really measuring differences, especially in common sports.”

What’s New & Delicious in Jewish Cuisine?

Here are three takes on what’s cooking in the world of Jewish food:

In the past, you may have read articles in which Sharon and I describe our friend group as The G-d Squad. While some of us have known each other since high school, our sisterhood solidified through our involvement with the Sephardic Educational Center.

The name poyke comes from Afrikaans potjiekos, the literal translation being “small, round pot.” While migrating away from the British-controlled Cape Colony, Dutch settlers would carry these pots in their caravans and wagons. They could allow the poyke to cook slowly, unattended, while they made camp. It didn’t require much fuel, and it was portable…

Yifan didn’t even wait for the brisket to come out of the oven before remarking that it smelled like dong po rou, the pork belly famous in his hometown. While a pork reference doesn’t really work with Jewish food, I understood what Yifan was trying to say: Chinese food is Jewish food. And Jewish food is Chinese food.

Today’s Hot Issues

How Will Trump’s Trial Affect the Election? Is Biden Making the Wrong Call on Rafah? What Would a Palestinian State Actually Be Like? What Can We Do to Prevent the Spread of Bird Flu? Should the NCAA Allow Trans Women to Participate in Women’s Sports? What’s New & Delicious in Jewish Cuisine?