Will Congress Hold Bannon in Contempt?

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon is refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas issued by the committee investigating the January 6th attacks on the Capitol. The committee will vote on Tuesday about whether or not to hold Bannon in contempt of congress, which could have major implications for Trump.

Should the committee vote to hold Bannon in contempt — which it is almost sure to do, as a bipartisan majority on the committee has indicated they would take such measures to secure testimony — it would also signal the renewed power of a congressional subpoena…

If the Trump era has taught us one thing, however, it’s that being absolutely wrong about the law in every way is OK if nobody has the will to hold you accountable. Bannon knows that the Democrats simply do not have the strength to punish his lawlessness.

If the committee turns the other cheek, it would preemptively surrender its own investigative powers. Letting Bannon go would invite others to act with the same impunity.

Can Manchin Be Brought on Board?

President Biden came into office with big plans to address climate change, hoping to cut US emissions by half in the next decade. Without moderate Senator Joe Manchin (D West Virginia) on board, however, this agenda may be out of reach. More at NPR.

…there’s a problem with portraying these disagreements as a conflict between moderates and progressives. This picture leaves out the unarguable scientific reality that pollution is warming the planet at an unsustainable and dangerous rate.

The new data shows that Mr. Manchin’s constituents stand to suffer disproportionately as climate change intensifies. Unlike those in other flood-exposed states, most residents in mountainous West Virginia have little room to relocate…

The changes under consideration could make it easier for coal and natural gas power plants to receive billions of dollars in financial incentives for clean energy, a potential boon for fossil fuel producers in Manchin’s home state.

What Are the Biggest Threats on Israel’s Radar?

The Middle East is changing and alliances are shifting. Looking forward, what are Israel’s biggest security and safety concerns?

Last week’s ransomware attack on Hadera’s Hillel Yaffe Medical Center has showed us once again that one of the biggest dangers of the 21st century – besides wars, pandemics and natural disasters – are cyberattacks.

Both politicians and security officials in Israel increasingly suspect that Iran is purposely stalling, and has no interest in quickly resuming the talks on signing a new nuclear accord. According to their assessments, the Iranians are using the time to continue enriching uranium.

A destructive earthquake in Israel is not a question of if it, but when. A reference scenario that was presented to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in 2016 estimated that 7,000 people would be killed, tens of thousands injured, infrastructure damaged, hundreds of thousands of buildings damaged, and hundreds of thousands of people evacuated from their homes.

Is Bennett Coming After the Religious?

Despite being Israel’s first religious Prime Minister, PM Naftali Bennett is being accused of being anti-religious after his recent comments about limiting the political influence of the ultra-Orthodox sector.

…many members of the Orthodox community are vehemently opposed to him. While some chafe at his decisions regarding how to observe Jewish law, or halacha, others feel let down by the fact that Israel’s first religious premier is not only not in the thrall of rabbinical sages…

…despite Bennett’s threats and Dery’s insults, not only does the “government of change” not take an anti-Haredi tack, it has a way to go before freeing itself from Haredi political influence.

UTJ chairman MK Moshe Gafni said that Bennett had a history of deceiving the ultra-Orthodox public, referencing the formation of a government in 2013 by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party…

How Big a Deal Is Katie Couric’s RBG Story?

Recent admissions from Katie Couric reveal that she selectively edited her interview with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, cutting out controversial opinions from RBG about the NFL kneeling protests.

Couric joins a growing list of authors who have altered the unflattering words of individuals whom they admire, in order to shield them from embarrassment. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman have been among the prime beneficiaries of such unilateral revising of history.

Looking after Ginsburg’s PR interests is not part of a journalist’s job. And if Ginsburg was too foggy to understand a question on a top-tier national issue, then how equipped was she to hear cases at the Supreme Court?

Collectively, these incidents have eroded trust in the media as an institution, persuaded millions of Americans to tune out mainstream media elites and outlets (and tune into alternative outlets), and empowered bad political actors who want to exploit this lack of trust for political gain.

Is Pumpkin Spice Hummus Any Good?

Every year, many Jews react with horror and disgust at reports of “pumpkin spice” hummus from Trader Joe’s and elsewhere. Is this a crime against cuisine? Or a fun twist on a favorite?

I like hummus. I even like pumpkin spice! But together is a shonde.

I actually tried this hummus — and every other pumpkin spice item available at Trader Joe’s — and thought it was alright. But does it need to exist? Is it better than regular hummus? Personally, I don’t think so.

I love this sweet hummus because it perfectly captures the essence of pumpkin pie in a single, creamy dip without tasting artificial.

Today’s Hot Issues

Will Congress Hold Bannon in Contempt? Can Manchin Be Brought on Board? What Are the Biggest Threats on Israel’s Radar? Is Bennett Coming After the Religious? How Big a Deal Is Katie Couric’s RBG Story? Is Pumpkin Spice Hummus Any Good?