Can Anyone Stop the War in Gaza?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Aug. 1 2014 10:30 AM

The “What Does Congress Do All Day?” Edition

Listen to Slate’s show about the war in Gaza, Democratic fundraising off of a threat to impeach Obama, and an appeals court ruling on the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.


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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, David Plotz, Annie Lowrey, and Jamelle Bouie discuss the war in Gaza, impeachment mania and the depths of congressional dysfunction, and the federal appeals court ruling that saved Mississippi’s last abortion clinic.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

  • The war in Gaza is incredibly popular among Israelis.
  • U.S. support for Israel is still strong, but young people tend to have a less favorable view of Israel’s use of force.
  • The World Bank estimates that Israel’s control of the West Bank costs the Palestinian economy $3.4 billion every year.
  • Although Hamas is not technically forcing Palestinian civilians to serve as human shields, many journalists have noted that the group’s disregard for civilian safety is either ignorant or manipulative.
  • The U.S. has provided $118 billion in economic aid to Israel since 1948.
  • Members of the far right like Sarah Palin and several House Republicans have called for Obama’s impeachment.
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $2.1 million last weekend alone with email blasts about impeachment fervor.
  • Ironically, when the GOP House leadership failed to pass its emergency border security bill funding, they called for Obama to address the crisis through executive actions. House Republicans are currently suing President Obama over perceived executive overreach in his implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Jonathan Bernstein argues that the GOP is now a “post-policy” party, favoring ideological purity over policy innovation.
  • The GOP has a serious shot at retaking the Senate this year.
  • A federal appeals court ruled that Mississippi’s sole remaining abortion clinic must be allowed to remain open, lest its abortion burden be placed on other states.
  • The Mississippi law is part of a larger push on the pro-life right to restrict abortions through health and insurance regulations such as Virginia’s abortion clinic construction standards.
  • Since Texas’ law restricting abortions under certain circumstances went into effect last year, abortions have dropped 13 percent statewide.
  • Most Americans believe that abortion should be legal during the first trimester.
  • Some one-party controlled states such as Kansas have attempted “real-live experiments” in conservative governing through massive tax breaks and spending cuts.

Jamelle chatters about A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

Annie chatters about the effects of the current crisis in Ukraine on Russia’s status as a high-income economy.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest.

The email address for the Political Gabfest is (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Max Tani.

Jamelle Bouie is a Slate staff writer covering politics, policy, and race.

Annie Lowrey is a contributing editor for New York magazine. She can be reached at

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.



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