Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Reminder: When Romney Lost, Trump Called for “A Revolution”
BILL RYAN: Jay Cronley’s Unusually Funny Movies.
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CATHY YOUNG: The Battle Over Diversity Training.
Workplace diversity training—or, as it’s more commonly known today, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training—has become a hotly contested battlefield in the culture wars. In September 2020, Donald Trump, fired up by anti-critical race theory crusader Christopher Rufo’s appeal on Fox News, issued an executive order banning employee training based on “divisive concepts”—e.g., that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive”—by federal institutions or contractors. Four months later, one of Joe Biden’s first actions as president was to reverse this order.
Now, the clash has moved to the states. In April, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7, the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act (“Stop WOKE,” get it?), outlawing supposed indoctrination into what DeSantis called “pernicious ideologies” in schools and in the workplace. Last month, after two Florida-based businesses and a diversity consultancy sued claiming that the law was an unconstitutional infringement on their freedom of speech, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker granted a temporary injunction blocking enforcement of the portion of the law that affects private employers. (There’s a separate lawsuit on behalf of colleges and universities.) In a strongly worded 44-page opinion, Judge Walker noted (referencing the Netflix show Stranger Things) that “recently, Florida has seemed like a First Amendment upside down.”
Sure, Trump could have kept top secret docs for blackmail or profit. Or maybe he was simply collecting classified intel on what other countries said about him — in much the same way he collects magazine covers featuring his face. David Priess joins Charlie Sykes on today’s pod.
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BILL LUEDERS: Ron Johnson’s Latest Fiction: He’s a Man of the People.
In his quest for a third Senate term, Ron Johnson is portraying himself as a defender of the little guy, tirelessly opposing Democratic efforts to destroy the country. One campaign ad boasts that the Wisconsin Republican “voted against Biden’s massive deficit spending that sparked inflation, and he passed tax cuts to help Wisconsin families survive the economic turmoil caused by Democrats.”
And it’s true: Johnson, who is facing Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in the Nov. 8 election, has voted against all sorts of spending—especially on programs that benefit ordinary people. He’s said Democrats push programs like these in order to “make more Americans dependent on government.”
SHAY KHATIRI: Iran’s Nuclear Sites Are Vulnerable, and Iran Can’t Deter an Attack—For Now.
The state of Iran’s nuclear program is unclear. There are three possibilities: First, Iran doesn’t yet have a nuke but could relatively soon; second, Iran doesn’t have a nuke because it still doesn’t possess the knowledge; or third, Iran already has a nuke. What we do know is that Iran has enough uranium to build one nuclear weapon. Three consecutive administrations have declined to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities militarily despite the imminence of the threat for fear of stumbling into war. Their apprehension, along with the political failure and technical deficiencies of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, abetted the Islamic Republic’s efforts toward nuclear breakout. But the fear of war rests on a mistaken understanding of Iran, and there may still be time to ensure nonproliferation.
The strategy to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program is not unprecedented—nor is its failure. We tried a remarkably similar strategy with North Korea, a regime harder to predict and coerce, and which had some 25 million inhabitants of Seoul, including more than 100,000 Americans, as hostages to its conventional artillery. Striking North Korea would have been very risky. The strategy of negotiation, “strategic patience,” and alternating harsh sanctions with concessions didn’t work with North Korea, or when we tried them again on Iran.
Happy Thursday! You know that means! It’s time for Thursday Night Bulwark! We hope to see you tonight at 8pm Eastern with JVL, William Saletan, and A.B. Stoddard. But you can only attend if you’re a member of Bulwark+.
Meanwhile, in local news… A Virginia country club planned a 9/11 themed menu. It did not go over well. But in good news, the USCP helped a pregnant woman deliver her baby on the Senate side of the Capitol. They should name the kid Buster!
How Old Bay… Became a cult favorite.
From our friends at Connors Forum… A Nonpartisan Explanation of Gun Violence Research.
The NFL season starts today! Join David Priess at Lawfare as he talks about spying and the NFL.
How Russians can read blocked news… Life finds a way.
When a man with a pistol shows up outside a Congresswoman’s house… A well reported look at what public service unfortunately brings with it these days.
The response to Biden’s speech… Proves his point, argues Jonathan Chait.
There’s no escaping the truth about Trump… Peter Wehner writes about how Trump’s moral pathologies have been adopted by the GOP.
Trump’s DOJ… Acted exactly as you’d suspect it would.
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