The Angle

The Angle: The Multifaceted Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on Democrats and Israel, the Department of Defense, and an affirmative action lawsuit.

A divide? The backlash against Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar for a tweet about her criticism of Israel is a sign of future rifts to come in the Democratic Party over this particularly fraught foreign policy issue, Josh Keating writes. But according to the president of J Street, a moderate pro-Israel lobbying group, the differences among Democrats’ views of Israel may not be as stark as they may appear.

Defense secretaries, who needs ’em? Trump still has not nominated an official successor to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who stepped down at the end of last year. The current acting secretary is not well-favored, and authority among military services has been hopelessly scattered for a few years now. Fred Kaplan asks: How long can this disheveled Pentagon endure?

Not done for yet: Closing arguments in the affirmative action case Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard are this week, so it’s time to talk about whether affirmative action is on its last legs—a concern that has existed since the late ’70s, now renewed by Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Yuvraj Joshi doesn’t think so: “Affirmative action will not disappear. It will, though, be driven underground—with ever-less overt uses of race.”

A killer’s kid: When Kerri Rawson was born in 1978, her dad had already committed seven murders as the notorious BTK killer. She wouldn’t find out until 2005, when he was finally caught. At first she didn’t believe the supportive, devoted father she knew could be BTK. Writer Zach Schonfeld talks with Rawson about trying to reconcile these two versions of her father, the PTSD she’s suffered as a result, and how her relationship with her dad has evolved since he’s been behind bars serving out 10 life sentences.

Earthiness and brio: Booker Prize–winning author Marlon James is back, with Black Leopard, Red Wolf, a dark fantasy launching an epic new trilogy set in Iron Age Africa. It’s a “delirious smoothie of cultural influences and tributes, from Kurosawa films to superhero comics to the seminal work of the 1930s Nigerian writer D.O. Fagunwa,” writes critic Laura Miller. And though the genre piece may seem like a radical departure, fans of James will find much to admire in the prose and voice the writer brings to the page.

For fun: A harsh motivational video from olden days.

Wondering what happened to Barbara,