A new and evolving weekly feature reviewing our coverage across The Atlantic. (Composed by Caroline and edited, with reader comments, by Chris.)
The Final Sprint to the Iowa Caucuses
First of all, what’s a caucus? Priscilla explains. On the brink of the election’s opening contest two days from now, candidates began their closing arguments. On Monday, the three Dem candidates participated in a town-hall forum, while on Thursday, the GOP candidates (minus Trump) met on the debate stage for the last time before voting begins. A reader notes: “Turns out the donations Trump claimed go directly to vets don’t go to vets at all, but to his personal foundation!” Another reader, Jim Elliott, digs deeper:
According to Forbes, between 2009 and 2013, the Donald J. Trump Foundation distributed $5.5 million to 298 charities. That’s an average of $18,456 per charity. Which, normally, would be fine—micro-targeting non-profits for specific projects is pretty much how foundations roll. During that time, $57,000 went to seven veterans’ organizations, an average of $8,142.86 per group Also, according to The Daily Caller, Trump gave at least $100,000 of his own money to the Clinton Foundation during that time frame.
Trump is known, in charitable giving circles, as the “0.00013% man.” As in, that’s how much of his wealth he donates annually, making him among the most miserly of rich people in the U.S.
Given Trump’s continued ability to divide Republicans, David Frum wondered if the GOP elites will finally let go of some their cherished policies. And David Graham examined how “Sanders, like Trump, is a threat pointed directly at the party establishment.”
Elsewhere in politics, in case you missed:
Russell on how Sanders could make history for Jews if he wins IA or NH.
Michelle on how all the aspiring first spouses have yet to be scrutinized.
Ta-Nehisi with a followup on his piece challenging Sanders over reparations. (Conor defended the Vermont senator’s stance.) Ta-Nehisi then responded to Kevin Drum’s criticism while readers started a discussion thread on reparations.
It seem odd that introducing higher levels of criminality and a population that lacks the language and job skills to meaningfully contribute to German society is described as “leadership.” It’s a case of moral grandstanding as a replacement for a clear evaluation of national self interest.
Roc Morin on Westerners who volunteered to fight ISIS.
Simon Cottee on how ex-cons and criminals are finding an outlet in ISIS.
The Academy—and Mattel—Move to Diversify
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced actions to “prune Academy members who no longer actively work in the film industry, while doubling voters of color and female members over the next four years.” Meanwhile, Barbie got a makeover: Mattel announced new skin tones and body types for the doll. On the semantics of “diverse” and “diversity,” Spencer has some thoughts. And David Sims looks at the variety of films at Sundance.
In case you missed our reviews from the world of entertainment: