The Best Of The Dish Today

You may remember the rather refreshing position of Rand Paul that he wanted to cut the billions of dollars in aid we give to Egypt and Israel. Well, guess what? As David Corn notes, Paul has now changed his tune. He’s dropped the idea of ending aid to Israel and is now urging an end to aid to the Palestinians unless they don’t only recognize Israel but recognize it as a Jewish state. The idea of cutting off aid to Israel has now disappeared from his website. I’m unaware of any ideological epiphanies Paul has had on the question of foreign aid, so, if you want to find an explanation for the sudden swerve to neoconservatism, you’d have to look at the process by which a candidate gets the money and support to run for president.

Meanwhile, a reader responds to our latest indie Dish update:

Lookin’ good, team. But just tryna make sure I understand all this correctly: What is “affiliate income”? And how much revenue has come in from 1/1/2014 to current?

“Affiliate income” is the money we get from the Amazon links for any book mentioned on the Dish. When a person buys a book, or any other item on the site within a 24-hour session, we get a tiny percentage of the purchase price. (More on the Dish’s approach to affiliate revenue here.) In the first four months of 2014, we generated $10,417. But in the month of April alone, with the advent of our Book Club, we made $5,245 in affiliate revenue. It’s not much compared to our subscription revenue, but over the course of the year it definitely adds up. Last year, our $25,000 in affiliate revenue basically paid for an intern’s salary and healthcare benefits. So thank you to all the Book Clubbers for your help on that front.

Today I failed to do my homework on the alleged smoking gun Benghazi email from Ben Rhodes. It is, when viewed in context, merely spin in a confusing time. Quite why it took so long to be released is another matter. I tried to give an assessment of the paradox of Obama’s popular yet unpopular foreign policy; wondered if I sound gay; and gawked at the unreconstructed racism of Donald Sterling.

The most popular post of the day remained Sarah Palin: Anti-Christian, followed by my response to David Harsanyi about Israel’s intransigence on settlements. That Palin post has had an extended life on Facebook. But Palin has always been a traffic-booster.

One last thought from Oakeshott’s Notebooks, which I’ve been gulping:

In love is our existence made intelligible. For in love are all contraries reconciled.

That’s quite a statement from a philosopher. But he was always much more than that.

See you in the morning.