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LongRead: “The Final Days of Trump’s Unprecedented Campaign” by Gabriel Sherman:“Another way Ivanka has tried to exert influence on the campaign is by positioning Kushner to all but run it. “You have to remember something: Jared is the final decision-maker,” a senior adviser said — except, he noted, when Trump is. “Jared is a brilliant young man,” Trump told me. Kushner, a lifelong Democrat, declined to comment, but a Republican close to the campaign said of his feelings: “Jared doesn’t look at supporting the campaign as taking a philosophical position. He’s opportunistic.” In recent weeks, Kushner has served as an all-purpose fixer for the campaign. According to sources, he recruited Clinton-era CIA director James Woolsey to advise Trump on national security. Kushner’s access to Trump has caused friction with senior advisers who have chafed at his lack of experience."
"According to one adviser, Kushner told pollster Tony Fabrizio during the convention that the campaign didn’t need to conduct focus groups. “ ‘I can tell from the applause what’s working,’ ” Kushner said, according to this source. The merits of focus groups aside, Kushner definitely likes data. He and Brad Parscale, a digital strategist who got into Trumpworld by designing websites for the Trump children, began ramping up the campaign’s data operation before the convention. “Trump knows nothing about it; this is Jared’s thing,” a senior adviser told me. “Jared was smart enough to know the key to power was money. He set the data operation up to raise money.””
-- “In recent weeks, the mood at Trump Tower has veered between despair and denial—with a hit of resurgent glee when the news broke that the FBI was looking into more of Clinton’s emails. When I asked one senior Trump adviser to describe the scene inside, he responded: “Think of the bunker right before Hitler killed himself. Donald’s in denial. They’re all in denial.”” [NYMag]
"Trump offered Christie his VP slot — then rescinded it" by Aaron Short: "Donald Trump initially offered the vice-presidential running-mate slot to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie but then withdrew it, sources said. After Trump tentatively decided on Christie, Manafort told Trump his plane had a mechanical problem, campaign sources said, forcing Trump to spend another night in the Hoosier State. Pence then made his case to be Trump’s No. 2 over dinner as Trump’s advisers argued that Christie’s Bridgegate troubles would sink the campaign." [NYPost]
“If Clinton Wins, The Next Energy Secretary Might Be The Current One” by Dino Grandoni:“Moniz is well liked by members on both sides of the aisle and keeping him on would allow Clinton to avoid at least one contentious confirmation. He had a brief star turn as the administration’s top salesmen on the Iran deal Moniz was crucial in getting Iran to agree to curtail its development of weapon-grade nuclear fuel — and, importantly, convince the Iranians that the US is scientifically capable of monitoring whether enrichment facilities have truly been shut down. And because Moniz is already energy secretary, he would not need to be confirmed again. Avoiding a new confirmation hearing for energy secretary also prevents Congress from re-litigating the Iran deal, which many in the GOP thought gave too many concessions.” [BuzzFeed]
US treasurer Jack Lew visits Israel for talks on Iran sanctions: Readout by Ambassador Dan Shapiro: “Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew visited Israel today for a series of productive talks. Topics included bilateral economic issues, an update on Implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, and the sanctions we continue to apply against Iran and others in the region engaged in destabilizing behavior. It may be his last visit to Israel in his current job, and I have appreciated his friendship and his steadfast commitment to close US-Israel ties.” [Facebook]
“Schumer: Iran Deal Vote Proof I’ll Not Be Rubber Stamp To Pres. Clinton” by Jacob Kornbluh: “When I disagree with Secretary Clinton, I will. She and I disagreed greatly, for instance, on the Iran agreement,” Schumer said in a TV debate with his Republican challenger, Wendy Long, aired on NY1, when asked how he will demonstrate his independence should he be in control of the chamber. “I thought that was a very bad idea. She thought it was a good idea. And that didn’t stop me; I studied it, I had lots of briefings, and I came to the right conclusion. So when I think President Clinton is wrong, I will disagree with her.” [JewishInsider]
TOP TALKER: “For Democrats, Anthony Weiner Makes an Unwelcome Return” by Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns: “Carolyn B. Maloney, the congresswoman from the Upper East Side, was riding in a taxi on Friday when she heard the news: Emails discovered in an investigation into Anthony Weiner’s sexting had revived the F.B.I.’s interest in the case of Hillary Clinton’s private server. “I said: Oh, no, not this, not happening now,” she said. Around the country, former aides to Mr. Weiner, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, traded emails and texts throughout the weekend fuming at the “collateral damage” inflicted by their onetime boss [In 2009] Senator Chuck Schumer, for whom Mr. Weiner once worked, privately expressed frustration that Mr. Weiner was insufficiently interested in substance. The senator is said to have made his peace with Mr. Weiner’s problems long ago. But Mr. Schumer is in line to lead Senate Democrats next year, and any damage from Mr. Weiner’s latest scandal could impede the party’s quest for a majority.” [NYTimes] Joe Biden: 'I'm not a big fan' of Anthony Weiner [Politico]
“Anger, disbelief in Clinton camp” by Amie Parnes and Jonathan Easley: “This is just a distraction,” said Democratic pollster Mark Mellman. “People had already reached their conclusions about the emails. Certainly everyone on my side of the aisle would rather be talking about something else, but I don’t think it’s sufficient to change the outcome.” [TheHill]
“Don't Let the FBI's E-Mail Surprise Swing the Election” by Eli Lake: "When it comes to mishandling classified information, I can tell you from experience, many government officials at one time or another will leak classified information to reporters. But there is a greater issue at stake. As a member of the press, I have an interest in less government secrecy and less scrutiny for government sources. It's not healthy for the republic in the long run for the FBI to investigate the mishandling of national security information wherever it finds it.” [Bloomberg]
Chemi Shalev: Comey’s letter “may have also galvanized Clinton’s hitherto complacent base. The anger at what seems to many Democrats to be Comey’s unwarranted and inexcusable intervention in the political process, coupled with Clinton’s steadily evaporating lead over Trump, might energize activists, volunteers and voters just enough to give the Democratic candidate the extra oomph she needs in order to win.” [Haaretz]
“Trump Gives a Grateful Shout Out to ... Anthony Weiner” by Ali Vitali: "We never thought we were going to say 'thank you' to Anthony Weiner," Trump joked with his audience at one of conservative casino magnate Sheldon Adelson's Venetian Hotel ballrooms. Trump, the owner of another Vegas strip hotel himself, thanked Adelson for being "so supportive" of his campaign but ribbed him Adelson for providing a ballroom that was maybe not big enough for Trump's taste. "Great hotel," he said, but "we could've made this ballroom a little larger, maybe." [NBCNews]
Roger Cohen on why Obama/next president should avoid pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative: “There is no point beating a dead horse. It is time for incremental steps instead. Israel could find lots of ways to ease humiliations and economic hardship for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, without compromising its security The worst thing would be for Western leaders to come up with some new “peace initiative” that would offer a convenient diversion from political responsibility.” [NYTimes]
-- "Speaking at a conference to mark re-launch of New York Times' international edition,Cohen recommended that U.S. President Barack Obama, before leaving office, present America’s principles for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a U.N. Security Council resolution. “I’m in favor of this idea, or partly in favor of it, because Israel is opposed to it,” he said." [Haaretz]
“2006 Audio Emerges of Hillary Clinton Proposing Rigging Palestine Election” by Ken Kurson: “The tape was never released and has only been heard by the small handful of Jewish Press staffers in the room “I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake,” said Sen. Clinton. “And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win instead of signing off on an electoral system that advantaged Hamas.” Chomsky told the Observer, My bosses didn’t think it was newsworthy at the time. I was convinced that it was and I held onto it all these years.”” [Observer; JewishPress]
“Eizenstat, former Clinton official, hopes for refocusing on Israel” by Michael Wilner: “On Holocaust and Jewish issues, besides being senator from the state with the largest number of Jews, she has a feel for Israel and for Jews that’s in her kishkes,” Eizenstat said in an interview. “I mean, I saw itI think she’s a very tough cookie when it comes to Iran, and I don’t think she’s going to tolerate a lot of slippage.” [JPost]
“Trump boasts about his philanthropy. But his giving falls short of his words” by David Fahrenthold: ”He promised to donate $250,000 to a charity helping Israeli soldiers and veterans But the Post has been unable to verify that he followed through on any of them.” [WashPost]
Israeli Paper Publishes Trump’s Western Wall Note: "May you bless the United States, our armed forces and our allies. May your guiding hand protect and strengthen our great nation.” [JI; Pic]
“Trump Campaign Condemns ‘Deplorable’ Anti-Semitic Supporter” by Jacob Kornbluh:“The Trump campaign on Sunday strongly condemned an anti-Semitic reporter who yelled “Jew-S-A” at reporters during a Trump rally in Arizona on Saturday. “His conduct is completely unacceptable,” campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “That man’s conduct was deplorable, and had I been there, I would have asked security to remove him immediately. Clearly, he doesn’t speak for the campaign or the candidate, and what he had to say was disgusting,” Conway said.” [JewishInsider; CNN] Trump Supporter Who Chanted “Jew-S-A” Says We Just Misheard Him [BuzzFeed]
ADL's Jonathan Greenblatt: “It’s troubling in the first place that someone would feel comfortable to spout anti-Semitism at a political rally. But we’re heartened that Kellyanne Conway immediately spoke out in a clear and forceful manner. Too often intolerance has been given a pass during this campaign, so this was an important step. We hope this approach of quickly condemning hate will be the new norm for the candidates and for all public figures, not just in the remaining days of the campaign, but in the future long after this election.” [WashPost]
Heard yesterday on Israel’s Channel 10 News - Boris Epshteyn on Trump’s alt-right support: "As a Jewish American, the amount of vitriol and hate I receive on social media from the Left is absolutely disgusting. The things I hear will make your ears shrink, and it’s all related to my Jewish background. What we are concerned about, is national security and foreign policy, and Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he will not allow the U.S. and Israel relations continue in the bad course it has been under Barack Obama. He will make sure that Israel is our number one friend in the Middle East and around the world; Israel is protected and that Jerusalem is the capital."
Ch. 10’s Tamar Ish-Shalom: “Can you say here on behalf of the Trump campaign to these people: ‘We don’t want your vote, don’t vote for us’?
Epshteyn: “That’s not how politics works here. What we’re saying is we absolutely disavow, and we’re absolutely against any sort of hate from all sides.” [Nana10]
“Trump attacks 'puppet' Evan McMullin: 'The guy takes votes away from me'” by Rebecca Morin: "I love the people of Utah. I have great relationships in Utah," Trump said. "But you have a guy named Bill Kristol who's called it wrong for two years. He's a loser. He's called me wrong. He's called everything wrong. He's called the wars wrong,” Trump said during the interview. "Everything he does is wrong. He gets his puppet to go and run in Utah." [Politico]
“Israeli GOP appears to dramatically inflate numbers of Israelis voting in US election” by Raphael Ahren: “I Vote Israel has assisted only about 12,000 Americans in Israel who requested absentee ballots for the 2016 election Zell’s claim to have signed up “several thousand” voters through his website appears highly exaggerated. The voter registration section of the Republicans’ website forwards users to the I Vote Israel site, and Charnoff said his digital analytics showed that only about 200 of the completed ballot request forms came from leads from the Republican Overseas websites.” [ToI] U.S. Voters in Israel Say Their Ballot Requests Have Gone Missing [Haaretz]
“Clinton adds pop of celebrity in homestretch of campaign” by Roberta Rampton:“Presidential candidates have long sought to create buzz with help from celebrity pals, said Tevi Troy, who chronicled the strategy in his book "What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Pop Culture in the White House." "Campaigns do it to reach out to people who are not necessarily interested in politics but are interested in pop culture," said Troy, a presidential historian who worked in the George W. Bush White House.” [Reuters]
“Schumer deploys last-ditch Senate money drop” by Burgess Everett: “The New York senator is seeding nearly $1 million from his personal campaign coffers into four competitive Senate races, a source familiar with the moves said. He’s also distributing $725,000 from a joint fundraising account to candidates across the country. The new push brings his total direct commitments to about $8 million after he made a flurry of investments in Democratic candidates in September. Even though Florida Democratic donors are clamoring for help in Rep. Patrick Murphy's race against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Schumer is sticking to his strategy of competing in cheaper markets where he believes Republicans are more vulnerable to a wave election.” [Politico]
“In Rare New Jersey Swing District, House Race Becomes a Brawl” by William Neuman: “At least 50 percent of the time my phone rings it’s something related to the election. [Josh] Gottheimer (a former speechwriter and White House aide to President Bill Clinton). Garrett. And I get Trump calls all the time,” said Karen Abraham, who was watching her two children play in a school playground in this suburb. Most of the television ads were negative, Ms. Abraham said, adding, “It makes you glaze over after a while.” [NYTimes]
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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Israel’s Largest Bank to Cut 12% of Jobs in Cost Saving Plan [Bloomberg] Bryan Goldberg's Female-Targeted Site Bustle on Pace to Triple Revenue [WSJ] Is Paramount “Unsalvageable”? As the Redstones figure out how to save Viacom, they need to start by turning around Paramount [VanityFair] TD Ameritrade founder Ricketts: Cabela’s investor Paul Singer a ‘very good friend’ [OmahaHerald]
PROFILE: “A Daughter Wants to Learn the Family Real Estate Business From the Ground Up” by Emily Nonko: “Only 18 months out of Syracuse University, the 23-year-old Ms. Naftali is playing a bigger role with a take-charge attitude reminiscent of her father, Miki Naftali, an Israeli immigrant who appeared on the New York real estate scene when he oversaw the conversion of a portion of the Plaza hotel into condominiums for Elad Properties. Ms. Naftali’s title is manager of marketing and design, and she has embraced the work, helping launch sales at 275 W. 10th St. as well as 221 and 210 W. 77th St., two new condo buildings on the Upper West Side. For Mr. Naftali, the addition of his daughter to the company has made him “think how the company may look 20 years down the road.” Other daughters who have proved themselves include Ivanka Trump, Helena Durst and Samantha Rudin.” [WSJ]
STARTUP NATION: "Israel: The Promised Land of Breast Tech" by Zara Stone: "Israel has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in OECD countries. That’s because mutations of the BRCA1 gene, which increase the risk of breast cancer, are hereditary in Ashkenazi Jewish women, who make up around 40 percent of Israel’s population. Many med-tech companies expand their technology into treating breasts after initially addressing other types of cancer. “Take InsightTec,” Melcer says. “Right now, it’s creating a microwave-like device that can ablate solid tumors. If they can focus that beam on deeper parts of tissue, we might be able to burn tumors from breasts.” [Ozy]
"WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg slams Wix: ‘Your app editor is built with stolen code’" by Ken Yeung: "WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg has taken exception to the editor used in Wix’s mobile app, alleging that the do-it-yourself web building service has copied his platform’s editor and failed to give proper attribution and adhere to the general public license (GPL) — basically, to open source the work. Wix chief executive Avishai Abrahami has responded to Matt Mullenweg’s allegations, denying that his company stole code." [VentureBeat]
“Ari Shavit, Celebrated Israeli Columnist, Resigns After Sexual Harassment Accusations” by Peter Baker: “The unexpected fall from grace of one of Israel’s most prominent figures shocked his admirers both here and in the United States. In effect, it was unexpected collateral damage from the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump. Ms. Berrin wrote about her encounter with Mr. Shavit to make a point about sexual harassment, after similar accusations were made against Mr. Trump. But unlike Mr. Trump, Mr. Shavit acknowledged wrongdoing and did not attack his accuser’s truthfulness.” [NYTimes]
KAFE KNESSET -- Recess Over -- by Tal Shalev & Amir Tibon: After 3 months of summer recess, the Knesset corridors are busy again, and 120 lawmakers are back at work. The winter session will open today in a special plenum meeting, which will include speeches from PM Netanyahu, President Rivlin and Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog. The main mission on the Knesset's agenda for the upcoming months is passing the two year budget; that was overshadowed today as the political system is once again in turmoil over the PM's plans for the Public Broadcast Association.
Netanyahu and his Finance minister, Moshe Kahlon, are at odds over the Premier's intention to close the new public broadcaster and keep the current broadcasting authority alive. Netanyahu announced yesterday that he will bring his proposal to a cabinet vote next week, but Kahlon remains opposed, citing the Finance Ministry calculation that Netanyahu's move could cost almost 100 million dollars a year. This morning, Kahlon addressed the Knesset Finance Committee, and said that he "does not have any intention to make budget cuts for this plan. If someone want to bring a plan to the cabinet he should think about where he gets the money. I am not going to throw millions away."
This afternoon's plenum meeting will also put to test one of the controversial proposals currently occupying the coalition's time. Earlier this month, when the Joint Arab list MKs decided to boycott the funeral of former President Shimon Peres, their move sparked a harsh political reaction and condemnations all around, as well as suggestions to "punish" the MKs. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman then proposed a boycott of the Arab lawmakers, an offer which was immediately endorsed by the Prime Minister, though Knesset Speaker Edelstein has expressed his objections. Reports suggest a huge walkout of coalition members this afternoon as the Joint List will be taking the podium to present a no confidence vote at the plenum. However, as always in Israeli politics, we'll have to wait and see...
SPORTS BLINK: “Cubs Fanatic Dan Shapiro Shares Love of Sports with His Boss, Barack Obama” by Hillel Kuttler: “Then there was Obama's visit to Israel in March 2013. Shapiro and other key personnel, including then-National Security Advisor TomDonilon and Secretary of State John Kerry, were with the president in his hotel suite. "ESPN was on, and he was tracking the games with his bracket," Shapiro said of Obama's March Madness fandom. "We were talking about his next meeting with [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu...and he said, 'Dan, I want to hear your view of this.' I forget what the issue was, and I said, ‘Well, Mr. President, I think,' and he said, ‘Oh, my God, what a dunk!' And I lost my train of thought." All Shapiro wants now is for his beloved Cubbies to pull off a historic rebound from 3-1 down and earn an invitation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” [BleacherReport]
BIRTHDAYS: Founding partner at Lanx Management, former President of AIPAC (2006-2010) and Chairman of the Orthodox Union, Howard E. (Tzvi) Friedman turns 51... Entrepreneur, bestselling author and philanthropist, founder of Pencils of Promise, Adam Braun turns 33... Marilyn Rosenthal, National Director for Progressive Engagement at AIPAC (h/t Playbook/Ben Chang)... Actor with a lengthy career in film, television and theatre, Ron Rifkin turns 77... British historian, born in Baghdad, emeritus professor of International Relations at Oxford, Avi Shlaim turns 71... Author, historian and journalist, formerly editor of The New York Times Book Review, Sam Tanenhaus turns 61...
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