Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Iran talks deadline extended | DNC Passes on Passover Primary | White House blasts anti-BDS provision | Larry King’s Internet Afterlife

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Note: Today’s Daily Kickoff was produced from Aspen where we’re covering the Ideas Festival. Drop us a note — Editor@JewishInsider.com — if you’re here and we’ll make sure to say Hi.

At 2PM (MDT), Isaac Herzog, William Kristol, Jeffrey Goldberg, Valerie Jarrett and others will participate in the ‘Afternoon of Conversation’ where “big thinkers and doers will engage serious ideas about their work and the future.” [LiveStream]

Lindsey Graham at Aspen — interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg: GRAHAM: We’re not going to give half of Syria to Iran through their proxy called Assad.  I spent a lot of time learning this crap and I am ready to go. (Laughter) GRAHAM:  I am ready to go. (Applause) GRAHAM:  And Putin – GOLDBERG:  Let me — GRAHAM:  Your worst days are ahead, pal. (Laughter) GOLDBERG: Yeah, Putin threatened from Aspen Ideas Festival is the — GRAHAM:  Yeah, that’s right. GOLDBERG:  That will certainly have him — GRAHAM:  Anybody riding around without his shirt is not that tough. GOLDBERG:  Have him quaking in his boots. Once Putin realizes that Aspen has turned against him.”

“GOLDBERG: So what’s — from your perspective what’s wrong with the pending Iranian nuclear deal? GRAHAM: Oh, other than sitting down talking with people who are nuts as if they’re not nuts. (Laughter) GRAHAM: They’re religious Nazis. What are they going to do with the money you give them?  Do you think they’re going to build hospitals and schools?” [TranscriptVideo]

IRAN TALKS: “Amid Final Talks on Iran Nuclear Deal, Obama Calls Strict Verification Crucial” by Michael R. Gordon, David E. Sanger: “As a high-level team of Iranian officials flew here [Vienna] on Tuesday for what appears to be an intensive final week of negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear accord, President Obama issued a warning that he was prepared to walk away from any agreement with a verification regime that consisted of “a few inspectors wandering around every once in a while.” [NYTimes] • “Iran, Global Powers Extend Nuclear Talks Deadline” [WSJ]

Thomas L. Friedman: “Sometime after the 1973 war, I remember seeing a cartoon that showed President Anwar el-Sadat lying flat on his back in a boxing ring. The Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir, wearing boxing gloves, was standing over him, with Sadat saying to Meir something like, “I want the trophy, I want the prize money, I want the belt.” I’ve been thinking of that cartoon a lot lately as I listen to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, lecturing the United States and its five great power partners on his terms.” [NYTimes]

Bill Kristol: “This sentence is key: “The entry point isn’t we must be able to get into every military site, because the United States of America wouldn’t allow anybody to get into every military site, so that’s not appropriate,” the official said. Think about that. The American official argues that Iran should be held to the same standards as the U.S. Amazing.” [WeeklyStandard]

Elias Groll: “How much access will inspectors really have to Iran’s nuclear program?” [ForeignPolicy]

Lee Smith: “Iran Wins Big-Time in Vienna: The West is weak. Say it with me now: concessions, concessions, concessions.” [TabletMag]

Mohammad Ali Shabani: “A Fragile Optimism Over an Iran Deal: Nuclear negotiators have made real progress—but the details still threaten to ruin it all.” [PoliticoMag]

“Waltzing With Kerry in Vienna” by Andrea Mitchell: “The mood is more anxious than it was last spring before the self-imposed March 30th deadline in Lausanne… There’s no shortage of critics ready to pick any deal apart. Some are here: circulating through this news vacuum are the opponents of the proposed nuclear deal like Josh Block of the Israel Project and human rights activist David Keyes, who on Monday staged a mock debate in the Marriott lobby with a fake Mullah.” [Politico]

Heard Last Night: “Significant Obstacles to an Iranian Deal Remain, Warns Panel of Experts, Former CIA and IAEA Officials” by Laura Adkins, Benjamin Gladstone: “Addressing a crowd of over 300 DC interns and young professionals Tuesday night at an event organized by AIPAC, a bipartisan panel warned that the US is in a considerably weaker negotiating position than it was when nuclear discussions began. The panel featured James Woolsey, Ann Lewis, Olli Heinonen, and Aaron David Miller. Woolsey stressed that the principle of mutually assured destruction, which guided American strategic thinking throughout the Cold War, does not apply to Iran. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is not a rational actor in the way that Soviet leaders were, Woolsey stated.” [Story to be posted later today at The Hill]

Aaron David Miller: “Can the U.S. get a good Iran deal?” [CNN]

Scott Walker on Iran talks: “The truth is these talks were doomed from the start by the Administration’s pattern of retreat. As the Iranians hang tough, insisting on their core demands, the president has steadily abandoned commitments he made to the American people and our allies… He is squandering an opportunity to peacefully eliminate Iran’s nuclear program, an opportunity generated by 19 years of bipartisan sanctions and 12 years of negotiations.” [NationalReview]

“Christie Promises Blunt Campaign as He Enters 2016 Contest” by Jill Colvin, Steve Peoples: “A tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched his 2016 campaign for president Tuesday with a promise to tell voters the truth even if it makes them cringe.” [AP] • Christie did not mention ‘Israel’ or ‘Iran’ in the speech [Twitter• Mark Zuckerberg had a cameo in Christie’s campaign video [Twitter]

Spotted by Jacob Kornbluh: “Ze’ev Rubinstein, former Vice President of Business Development at Israel Discount Bank of New York Ltd. and National Development Director for Israel Bonds, seated on the bleachers behind Christie. Rubenstein is close to Sheldon Adelson… A source close to Christie said that Rubenstein was invited to the event by the governor, hoping he reports back positive feedback to Vegas.” [JP]

“Timing of Christie’s Announcement Has Fund-Raising Advantages” by Nicholas Confessore: “In fund-raising, as in politics, timing is everything. Christie joined the field on Tuesday, hoping to win over donors who have soured on his chances. But it will be more than three months before rival candidates, the press, and potential supporters know whether he has had any success.” [FirstDraft] • “Wall Street’s deep-pocketed donors aren’t throwing money behind Chris Christie and it’s becoming a big problem” [BusinessInsider]

“New York’s presidential primary date changed to avoid Passover week” by Kenneth Lovett:“A group of 71 Assembly Democrats led by former Speaker Sheldon Silver complained in a letter to the Democratic National Committee that the April 26 primary fell during Passover week. Silver announced Tuesday the date was changed to April 19.” [DailyNews]

“New Hillary Clinton emails show expansive role of Sidney Blumenthal” by Josh Gerstein:“The liberal writer and family confidant peppered the Secretary of State with advice on everything from internal turf battles to climate change.” [Politico]

Ted Cruz visits BuzzFeed: “In the interview Monday, he decried the “liberal fascism” of those who would legally coerce Christian bakers and florists into providing services for same-sex weddings… But the candidate dismissed questions about how far he would extend religious businesses’ right to refuse service. Should an Orthodox Jew be allowed to deny a Muslim, or vice versa?… When affirmative action came up, Cruz argued vigorously against race-based admissions. As evidence, he pointed to Ivy League schools that used to enforce “negative quotas” to keep from accepting too many Jews.” [BuzzFeed]

Haaretz’s Suggestion For Donald Trump: “Trump’s real mistake? Not running in Israel. And we’ve got just the party for him: If only he would consider running with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud. He would be perfect. He’d fit right in. It’s not just the comb-over and the billions. It’s the racism.” [Haaretz]

TOP TALKER: “White House Blasts Trade Bill Provision That Aims To Protect Israeli Settlements” by Jessica Schulberg: “The United States government has … strongly opposed boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel, and will continue to do so,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said, referring to the European “boycott, divestment and sanctions” movement against Israel. “However, by conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories,’ a provision of the Trade Promotion Authority legislation runs counter to longstanding U.S. policy towards the occupied territories, including with regard to settlement activity.” [HuffPost]

WI SEN: “Russ Feingold raises more than $2 million in second quarter” by Kevin Robillard and Manu Raju: “Former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold will report raising more than $2 million in the second quarter for his rematch with Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.” [Politico]

Happening Today: At 7pm (PST), David Suissa interviews Michael Oren at the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance. [LiveStream]

“How Israel Got Taken” by Michael Doran: “Oren 1.0 does not say precisely how he advised Netanyahu before the UN speech, but throughout the book he is seen repeatedly urging the Prime Minister to adopt a conciliatory stance toward Obama. So it stands to reason that he supported the speech, complete with its climb-down from the threat of an imminent Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Yet eventually it would become clear that the President’s true emotion was not gratitude to Netanyahu but disdain.” [MosaicMag]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “John Paulson just lost millions on Greece and Puerto Rico” [Fortune] • “Israel’s new energy policy should offer investors a stable and transparent regulatory regime” [TheEconomist] • “Israeli entrepreneur sees Ukraine as tech land of plenty” [KyivPost] • “The trapeze school will be across the street from the Smorgasburg food market and the outdoor street art show known as Coney Art Walls. Thor Equities is working with Biederman Redevelopment Ventures to present all three.” [AmNY] • “Ian Schrager is working on a new iconic Public hotel at the Dumbo Heights office and retail project owned by Jared Kushner along with RFR’s Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs.” [NYPost]

Spotlight: “King of All Media: Larry King’s Internet Afterlife” by Jody Rosen: “Larry King has looked like a retiree for at least three decades — like the snappiest dresser at a Boca Raton assisted-living facility — but he only stopped working in 2012, and not by choice… If King is prototypically old school, he’s also atypical: an 81-year-old who is as comfortable with new technology, with the brave new wired world, as any millennial. (“#Coachella’s over, what’s next?” he tweeted in April.) His Twitter feed, @kingsthings, has more than two and a half million followers, and a spate of recent articles have rightly hailed him as a master of the form.” [TMagazine]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Humane Clown Posse: In Israel, laughter and medicine work together”  by Elianna Bar-El: “On a recent visit to Wolfson Medical Center on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, Israel, Yolana Zimmerman is met with audible sighs of relief. “Great! You’re here! We need you,” says a nurse. Zimmerman is not a medical doctor. In fact, she casts quite a contrast to the typical image of a doctor with her pink leggings, cupcake apron, and eyelet bloomers—not to mention the underwear on her head and the stuffed monkey in her hands. Yolana “Yoyo” Zimmerman is part of a team of medical clowns called Dream Doctors.” [Good]

Good Luck With That — “I’m taking my Jewish kids to a vile neo-Nazi rally in London this weekend – because I want them to learn about free speech” [Independent]

SPORTS BLINK: “Is The Country Club too exclusive even for Tom Brady?” by Mark Shanahan: “Just how exclusive is The Country Club in Brookline? We’re about to find out. Word around the club’s meticulously manicured grounds is that Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, whose mansion is just an errant tee shot away, would like to join. But it’s not clear if the club famous for understatement and insularity will accept the glamorous power couple as members… Consider this: No Jews were admitted until the 1970s, no women (as full members) until 1989, and no blacks until 1994. In his memoir, “A Reason To Believe,’’ former governor Deval Patrick revealed that he and his wife, Diane, were rejected.” [BostonGlobe]

How It Played: “Trip to Israel thrills ex-Vikings: Interceptions leader compares notes with Iron Dome inventor” by Mark Craig: “There was room for 19 Hall of Famers to join the trip, which included the bar mitzvah for Kraft’s grandson on Mount Masada… Vikings Co-Owner and President Mark Wilf, who was there on a personal trip with his wife and youngest son, also took part in the opening dinner. Members of the group rarely rested, rising at 6 each morning and going past midnight every night.”

“We were signing autographs one night and this older guy came up to me and says, ‘So, you’re the one who has 81 interceptions?’ ” said Krause, who retired in 1979 and still owns the NFL record for career interceptions. “I says, ‘Yeah, I’m very proud of that.’ He says, ‘Well, I want to tell you something. I have 1,700 interceptions.’ He was the guy who invented the Iron Dome, which protects Israel from missiles.”[StarTribune]

Birthdays: Publisher & Editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal, Rob Eshman… Martin Indyk turns 64…

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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