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DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: "Obama administration considering strikes on Assad, again" by Josh Rogin: "Inside the national security agencies, meetings have been going on for weeks to consider new options to recommend to the president to address the ongoing crisis in Aleppo, where Syrian and Russian aircraft continue to perpetrate the deadliest bombing campaign the city has seen since the five-year-old civil war began. A meeting of the Principals Committee, which includes Cabinet-level officials, is scheduled for Wednesday." [WashPost]
Sec. John Kerry writes about the Iran deal in New York Mag: "We didn’t really want to do an interim agreement, to be honest. We were cornered into that by the imminent potential of Congress passing additional sanctions, which would have blown the whole thing apart. The people who were opposed to it were passing a lot of disinformation around. Israeli prime minister Bibi [Netanyahu] was saying that every day they’re giving away one more thing, et cetera, which wasn’t true. He was tweeting. And so we needed to go public with the outlines of the deal. But Zarif and I knew at the time that this was going to complicate our lives. Because he was going to have to go back to Iran and explain to the hard-liners, who’d say, “What?! You’re going to undo your centrifuge? You’re going to give up your calandria? This is terrible.” Same thing on my side. But we plowed ahead." [NYMag]
VP DEBATE RECAP: “Kaine attacks, Pence fights back in vigorous VP debate” by Julie Pace and Thomas Beaumont: “Pence outlined a detailed conservative agenda on tax policy, entitlements and immigration. He was markedly more prepared and more detailed in his answers than Trump was in last week's first presidential debate. He was also more consistent in painting the Democratic ticket as career politicians unwilling to shake up Washington.There was a striking difference in the two men's manner. Kaine, Clinton's usually easygoing No. 2, went on the attack from the start, repeatedly interrupting and challenging Pence. Pence, an equally genial politician, was unflappable.” [AP]
Highlights –Pence on Clinton-Kaine supporting the Iran deal: “The deal that Clinton initiated -- it guaranteed that someday, Iran would become a power [The] other goal was always that we would only lift the sanctions if Iran terminally renounced their nuclear ambitions. They have not done so. And when the deal's period runs out, there is no limitation on weapons. $1.7 billion was used in a ransom payment The truth of the matter is, what you have in the rise of aggressive Russia, which has increased its influence in Iran, it is not because of this deal, is on a pathway in the feature to obtain a nuclear — the leading state sponsor of terror in the world in Iran now has a closer working relationship with Russia because of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's foreign policy and $150 billion and sanctions being lifted."
Kaine said the deal ‘stopped’ the Iranian nuclear program: “The terrorist threat has decreased in some ways because an Iranian nuclear weapons program has been stopped... He does not want to acknowledge that we stopped the Iranian nuclear weapons program It was Hillary Clinton who worked with Russia to get them engaged in a community of nations to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot... She worked a tough negotiation with nations around the world to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot..."
FACT CHECK: “Kaine says Clinton helped eliminate the Iranian nuclear program - Grade: False” [ABCNews] John Podhoretz: “Kaine asserted that Israel’s senior military leadership supports the Iran deal, which is not true. Israel’s Defense Ministry explicitly compared the deal to the Munich pact that led Adolf Hitler to wage World War II.” [NYPost] Jeffrey Goldberg tweets: “Israeli generals do not think that the Iranian nuclear program has been stopped. They do think that it has been temporarily suspended. FWIW, from my own reporting, the Israeli general staff is extremely ambivalent about the Iranian nuclear deal." [Twitter; Twitter] AP: "Kaine is right - at least for now." [AP]
ISRAEL MOMENT — Pence: “He keeps saying that Hillary Clinton started the deal with the Iranians prevented Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."
Kaine: “That's what the Israeli joint chiefs of staff is saying right now.”
Pence: “Well, that's not what Israel thinks.”
Kaine: “Gadi Eizenkot, you can go check it.”
Pence: “You wouldn't necessarily know that.
Kaine: “Go to the tape.”
Pence: “I know you boycotted Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech when he came before the Congress.”
Kaine: “No, I visited him in his office. I visited him in his office.”
Pence: “You boycotted the speech. The point is, what this so-called Iran deal did was essentially guarantee -- I mean, when I was in Congress, I fought hard on a bipartisan basis with Republican and Democrat members to move forward the toughest sanctions, it -- literally in the history of the United States, against Iran.”
HOW IT PLAYED: Tim Kaine and Mike Pence Clash on the Merits of Their Tickets [NYTimes] Mike Pence wiped the floor with Tim Kaine — but does it matter? [NYPost] Pence, Kaine Trade Barbs Over Israel's Stance on Iran Nuclear Deal in VP Debate [Haaretz] Kaine’s assessment of the Iran deal is rosier than Clinton’s [TimesofIsrael] Winners and losers from the vice-presidential debate[WashPost] Mike Pence Won The Debate For His Imaginary Running Mate, Mitt Romney[BuzzFeed]
SPIN ROOM - Charlie Spies emails us: "Pence won the debate with his calm temperament and reminded independents and mainstream Republicans who are uncomfortable with Trump that there are conservative solutions to the issues in the election that at least 1/2 of the Republican ticket believes in. Kaine declaring victory with the Iran deal coupled with Pence's reminder that Kaine actually boycotted Netanyahu's speech to Congress, were a reminder that Trump's incoherent foreign policy may not be as bad as the dangerous and failed Obama-Clinton policies."
Andrew Weinstein: "I thought Tim Kaine was excellent. He was smart, steady, and showed that he's ready to lead - all qualities that you'd want in a vice president. He presented a strong case for a Clinton presidency and a blistering indictment of the Trump campaign. This was in sharp contrast with Pence who was clearly more interested in boasting his profile for the 2020 GOP nomination than defending Donald Trump. Pence offered the same tired GOP talking points that have been debunked and rejected time and again. This was most evident in Pence's discussion of the Iran deal. Secretary Clinton's efforts in bringing Russia and China on board forced Iran to the table and ultimately resulted in the dismantling of their nuclear weapons program. Instead of recognizing this achievement, all Pence could offer was empty criticism for Kaine skipping Bibi's speech and falsities about the reach of the deal. It was more of the same fear over facts approach that consistently defines the Trump campaign."
"J Street spots push back on GOP Iran deal advertising" by Nahal Toosi: "The J Street effort — details of which were shared exclusively with POLITICO — is rare, possibly unprecedented, in this election cycle. The group has raised $750,000 so far for its effort ($500,000 of which is going for the two TV ads) but Republican groups across the country are already putting millions of dollars into their own ads attacking Democrats on Iran, an issue the GOP believes can move votes in key Senate and House races."[Politico]
"Trump’s organization did business with Iranian bank later linked to terrorism" by Sasha Chavkin, Michael Hudson and Dave Levinthal: "Trump inherited Bank Melli, one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks, as a tenant when he purchased the General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, according to public records reviewed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Center for Public Integrity. The Trump Organization kept the bank on as a tenant for four more years after the U.S. Treasury Department designated Bank Melli in 1999 as being controlled by the Iranian government. U.S. officials later alleged that Bank Melli had been used to obtain sensitive materials for Iran’s nuclear program." [ICIJ] Jake Sullivan in statement: Report "shows yet again that Trump puts his own business interests ahead of the national interest. This report exposes Trump’s hypocrisy on Iran. As with Cuba, he talks a big game but when it comes to making a buck, he’ll deal with anyone."
"Clinton's Former Prosecutor Endorses Her for President" by Eli Lake: "[Michael] Chertoff says he made the decision to go public for Clinton after watching the debate last week. “Trump’s sense of loyalties are misplaced,” he said. “Some of our NATO allies sent troops overseas, at the same time he is defending Russia and trying to dismiss what is widely acknowledged to be Russian intrusions into the databases of our political parties and political figures.” Chertoff said this amounted to “making enemies of your friends and cozying up to your adversaries.” Chertoff said he expects Clinton will be different from President Barack Obama when it comes to Middle East policy. [BloombergView]
Bret Stephens: "To all the liberals and Never Trumpers who don’t get why Hillary isn’t ahead by 50 points—I just explained it. To all of you, get ready for Nov. 8. It’s going to be a beautiful thing. Believe me."[WSJ]
OVER THE WEEKEND -- "Trump finally hits the big-money jackpot" by Theodore Schleifer: "Despite only publicly committing $5 million to what is likely to be the de facto Trump super PAC, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson are pledging at least $25 million to pro-Trump presidential efforts, according to multiple people briefed on their donations. That sum includes giving to nonprofit group that will never be required to disclose his donations. "I'm doing more than a lot of people think I'm doing," Adelson recently told one top Trump ally." [CNN]
"Triumph of the Oligarchs - Bernie Sanders on the failures, and successes, of Obama’s Wall Street legacy" by Franklin Foer: "I think that when you’re a president — even when you’re a senator — there are enormous pressures on you. Sheldon Adelson just chipped in $25 million the other day to the Republican party. He will get paid back in terms of policy. So for any president, there’s gonna be enormous pressure from Wall Street, from Silicon Valley, from all these people." [NYMag]
"Jerusalem Post 50 Most Influential Jews: Number 1 - Haim Saban" by Yaakov Katz:"However the upcoming presidential elections play out, Saban is someone to keep an eye on. If Clinton wins, he will play an important role as a go-between for the president and the Israeli prime minister and someone who could be called on to prevent another four years of tense ties between Jerusalem and Washington." [JPost]
"White House corrects Jerusalem transcript error" by Nolan McCaskill: "The original transcript, which was blasted out before 8 a.m., named the location of the president’s remarks of Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, Israel. The corrected version, which was emailed after 4:30 p.m., struck through the reference to Israel, as the U.S. doesn’t recognize Jerusalem as a part of Israel." [Politico]
"Ronald Lauder Questioned by Israeli Police in Connection to Netanyahu Fraud Probe" by Yaniv Kubovich: "The police's anti-fraud unit summoned Lauder while he was in Israel for Shimon Peres' funeral and questioned him about various aspects of the fraud case. Lauder's name came up in the probe in connection to gifts he had allegedly given to Netanyahu during their meetings in Israel and abroad as well as funding for the prime minister's trips." [Haaretz]
"David Cameron and Boris Johnson make up after bitter Brexit fall out over late night drinks in Israel" by Tom Newton Dunn: "The Sun can reveal the two Tory titans “put the world to rights” over whiskey on the balcony of a hotel room in Jerusalem last Thursday night. One pal dubbed the bonding session “the Middle East peace process." [TheSun]
LongRead: "In a Time of Trump, Millennial Jews Awaken to Anti-Semitism" by Ben Wofford: "It’s 19-year-old Zach Reizes who is most firm in his views. “What Trump has brought to the surface is, in many ways, the first blatant anti-Semitic experience for the vast majority of American millennials,” says Zach, an angular and handsome sophomore at Ohio University. On campus, he’s active both with AIPAC, the right-of-center bulwark of Jewish politics, and J-Street, it’s younger and left-leaning rival. “My little sister,” he adds, thinks that Trump “is the Haman of the Purim story.”" [PoliticoMag] Warren Henry responds [TheFederalist]
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FIRST LOOK: "Juno Takes On Uber" by Sheelah Kolhatkar: "Juno came about when its four co-founders realized that they had a lot of money and not a lot to do. It was October, 2014, and they had just sold their previous company, Viber, which was a competitor to Skype that allowed people to make calls and send texts by mobile phone for free, to a Japanese Internet company for nine hundred million dollars. The only question was what to embark on next. They were obviously “too young to retire,” in the words ofTalmon Marco, Juno’s C.E.O. A slender, soft-spoken Israeli with deep-set eyes and thick eyebrows, Marco serves as the public face of Juno, while his three partners run most of the company’s operations from Tel Aviv." [NewYorker]
SPOTLIGHT: "This Billionaire Started Out as a Man With a Van" by Blake Schmidt: "Moishe Mana arrived in New York from Israel in the 1980s and turned his “man with a van” delivery gig into one of the city’s great moving and storage companies. Trucks bearing the Moishe’s Moving name rumbled everywhere on Manhattan streets. Today, the 59-year-old Mana has little to do with the business that helped make him a billionaire." [Bloomberg]
STARTUP NATION: "A Facebook exec issued a stark warning to entrepreneurs in 'Startup Nation'" by Sam Shead: "Adi Soffer Teeni, the manager of Facebook Israel, issued a stark warning to entrepreneurs in so-called "Startup Nation" last week as the country's tech scene continues to gain attention around the world. "We need to be humble, and we need to understand that in order for us to continue to deliver the innovation that we bring, we need not to be sassy. Not to think everything that happens here will continue to be magic."" [BusinessInsider]
TALK OF OUR NATION: "How Do You Say ‘Email’ in Yiddish?" by Joseph Berger: "The 826-page Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary, with almost 50,000 entries and 33,000 subentries, is the work of Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, a Yiddish editor and poet, and Paul Glasser, a former dean at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the major repository of Yiddish language, literature and folklore. Whether the new words, many of which were coined by the editors, will be widely embraced remains an open question. Many Yiddish speakers may already be too comfortable with the word “laptop” to jump ship for its Yiddish equivalent, “shoys-komputer” (a “computer for the lap”). “Any word that you’ve got to scratch your head to come up with they’ll use the English word,” said Yosef Rapaport, a Hasidic journalist and translator." [NYTimes]
PROFILE: "How Hildy Kuryk Segued a Political Career into 'Vogue''s Top Communications Role" by Maura Brannigan: "I started in the Office of Legislative Affairs in the White House during the Clinton Administration. I was an intern in that office and then they hired me — they had hired a lot of former interns — so we were this group of kids who worked for the President's liaison with the Capitol Hill. That was the end of the administration, and maybe it wasn't the fastest-paced time, but I didn't care. I was 21 and thought it was the coolest thing ever, to watch C-SPAN and follow legislation and write reports on what happened in the Senate that day." [Fashionista]
DESSERT: "What’s Juicing the Market for Weird Fruit? Rosh Hashana, Obviously" by Sophia Hollander: "Kiwis? Please—what a joke. Pomegranates? Old news. Dragon fruit? So five years ago. “Everyone and his brother gets a dragon fruit,” said Chaia Frishman, 43 years old, who scours New York this time of year to discover new exotic fruit. “I don’t think it’s a competition. I think it’s more like a challenge.”" [WSJ]
BIRTHDAYS: United States Senator from Maryland since 2007, Ben Cardin turns 73... Comedian who was a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show, appearing as a fictional Bolivian character named José Jiménez, Bill Dana (born William Szathmary) turns 92... South African-born lyricist whose works include the English-language musical adaptation of Les Misérables, Herbert Kretzmer turns 91... Owner of the Baltimore Orioles from 1989 to 1993, Eli Jacobs turns 79... Michael Jacobs... Morton Meltzer...
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