Current Affairs

Ilhan Omar on War, Arms Sales to Israel, Margaret Thatcher, and Prince

The Minnesota representative and “Squad” member discusses her new memoir and her foreign policy values.

Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar has one of the most remarkable personal stories of any member of Congress. Having come to the United States as a Somalian refugee, she became the first Somali-American Muslim congressperson at the age of 36. Omar is also one of the most politically progressive members of Congress, having been designated a member of the “Squad” of left-leaning women including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. Omar tells her story in her new memoir, This Is What America Looks Like. She recently spoke with Current Affairs contributing editor Eli Massey about her views, values, and legislative agenda. The conversation can also be heard in full on the Current Affairs podcast.

Transcription by Rachel Calvert.

Eli Massey:

Hello, Current Affairs listeners. This is contributing editor Eli Massey, and we have a very special guest, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Thank you so much for joining us. 

Ilhan Omar:

Thanks, Eli, for having me.

EM:

You have a new memoir out which is called This is What America Looks Like. Now, most political memoirs are dreadfully boring, and the only people who read them are political geeks and journalists. But you’ve had a fascinating life, and this was a great read. In the book you describe how you fled civil war while you were a child in Somalia, and were a refugee for a bit. How did these experiences inform your current perspective on American foreign policy and war? And I should mention that the United States has a long history of meddling in Somalia, stuff like backing a brutal Somali dictator for many years, to drone bombing the country, which we’re doing right now, and obviously most Americans have no idea we’re killing people in Somalia, let alone why.

IO:

It shapes it greatly, my experiences surviving war as a young child. It sort of gives me a lens to the understanding on how war just destroys and robs, and it never really restores or creates hope. Because for children like myself, their home is robbed from them. Their futures, their dreams, any sort of normalcy is robbed from them. And I think oftentimes we forget that there are decisions that are made that ultimately lead to those kinds of catastrophes taking place. I also think when we’re having a conversation about foreign policy, we can’t separate it from immigration. And in our country, as we are right now grappling with what’s happening with the southern border, with our refugee and resettlement program, with what it means to have folks who are looking for an opportunity to start anew, it allows me to utilize my perspective in advocating for a humane immigration policy, and really giving voice to the people on the other side of the fence. As I labeled one of the chapters, “Sometimes the Mouth of the Shark is Safer than Home,” that comes from a poem that a Somali poet wrote, and it literally describes the kind of choice that people have to make on whether to stay still and risk losing their lives, or to move, even though that might also bring them risk, but at least there is something that you are doing to create a better tomorrow for yourself. And I think that perspective is one that truly not many people who are in Congress have. 

EM:

Very quick follow up: You voted against the National Defense Authorization Act. Do you pledge to vote against any military budget increases in the future? 

IO:

Yes. 

EM:

That’s wonderful to hear. 

IO:

Yeah, I think it’s really important that we don’t separate any sort of defense funding from our normal budgetary needs. We are making little decisions on increasing our defense budget on the back of not increasing funding for things like education, healthcare, housing, giving benefits to and caring for the elderly and folks in our community who need service. Or even caring for our veterans, the people who already made the sacrifice to serve our country. And so for me, it’s really a non-starter to do an increase. I would like for us to fight for it to be decreased so that we can invest more of that money into domestic spending. 

EM:

I appreciate that so much. Now, you write movingly in the book about your vision of what America could be, but is not yet. So, let’s talk a little bit about where America falls short. One place that comes to mind is Guantanamo Bay. 18 years, something like 40 men remain imprisoned, many have not been charged with anything. Some have been cleared for release. And you have the appalling torture and mistreatment. I think that Guantanamo is among the greatest crimes of the 21st century, and almost nobody is talking about it nowadays. We’ve now had three administrations with it open, and because Barack Obama failed to prosecute the Bush administration for torture, there is zero deterrence for Trump and other future presidents to abstain from torturing. What steps will you take to close Guantanamo, free the men who have been cleared for release, and charge the others with a crime, if the evidence merits it? 

IO:

And so as you’ve noted, clearly, there are people who are incarcerated there currently who haven’t been charged with anything, and some who have been processed to be returned to their home country. And that process hasn’t taken place. And some of us in Congress have talked about that, and have had conversations about engaging in that process of sending these people back to their countries as we’ve done for others. And André Carson, Congressman André Carson and myself, with the support of some of the committee chairs, in relation to what governs Guantanamo, have talked about leading a delegation to go visit, look at the situation, and engage in a more deliberate conversation on what that process—

EM: 

Is there any kind of timeline for when that might happen?

IO:

We were hoping to do it during our August break.

EM:

Right.

IO:

I’m not sure—

EM:

With the pandemic— 

IO:

—if that will still happen. We were supposed to go last year, and it fell through. Because, as you know, nothing is constant in Congress. There’s always a crisis to attend to, and for us it’s really important that this conversation is reignited, and we do take a closer look. 

EM:

Yeah.

IO:

And find a solution. 

EM:

Yeah. Would you support, for example, defunding Guantanamo or threatening to not fund something if the president doesn’t act on this issue?

IO:

I mean, so you have to think about what is it that you’re funding in that regard, right? We have—there are people in there who need medical attention who haven’t been fully receiving that. You have to think about the people who are engaging, and continue to engage in hunger strikes and the kind of attention that they need. And so that is a decision I think we would deliberately have to take with full understanding of what the situation looks like, and without getting a closer look, I don’t know if I could automatically say that that is the right course of action at the moment. 

EM:

But you would support a resolution or something just to bring attention to Guantanamo, because, as I say, it’s completely fallen by the wayside, and nobody is talking about it. 

IO:

Precisely, precisely. We have been pushing for that with the Committee on Homeland Security, with Armed Services, with the committee that I sit on, on Foreign Affairs. It’s been an ongoing conversation between all of us to try to see, how do we make sure this conversation stays alive, and that there is attention brought to this crisis and violation of human rights that’s currently taking place.

EM:

Right, right. Okay. So, in the book you discuss Israel and anti-semitism. One of the leading groups whose supporters have mercilessly smeared and attacked you is AIPAC, which is why I was so surprised to see that you had signed on to an AIPAC-backed letter calling for an arms embargo on Iran. The justification which I saw from your office was that you consistently support imposing arms embargoes on human rights violators. So now I have to ask: Do you also support an arms embargo on Israel, which Amnesty International has called for?

IO:

I introduced, as you know, legislation asking for us to draw red lines. And there are cases in which many of the countries that are considered our allies fall within that, and I really think it is important for us to be consistent. One of the things that we lack in our foreign policy is consistency. And it makes, I think, the rest of the world not fully understand where America is going to be, until they push it a little too far. And if we are serious about upholding our values and principles, we have to be consistent and have laws on the books that allow for that to take place. 

EM:

So, are you now calling for an arms embargo on Israel?

IO:

We have supported policies that are consistent with any human rights violator to not be able to have the resources that they need to commit an atrocity. 

EM:

And that would include Israel?

IO:

With those guidelines that we’ve pushed forth, if my bill were to pass, if Israel fits that, then that would make sense. 

EM:

Does Israel fit that, under your bill?

IO:

It would depend on what particular policy we were talking about. 

EM:

So, it sounds like you’re not willing to offer an unqualified call for an arms embargo on Israel. 

IO:

I don’t call for unqualified embargo on anything, for anyone. 

EM:

Okay. Qualified in the sense of they are a human rights violator. 

IO:

So, as you know, I am one of the sponsors of Betty McCollum’s bill, and that creates some restrictions on Israel and funding. And so there are, I think, this is a situation that is case by case.  

EM:

Okay. But you’re not yet willing to call for an arms embargo on Israel. 

IO:

I mean, as you know, I generally do not support the sales of arms in any case. 

EM:

Right. 

IO:

I don’t believe that that should exist. And so underlying principle of mine is that weapons cause destruction, and they shouldn’t really exist. And so that really is a principle of mine. I wouldn’t vote for the sales of arms to anyone. 

EM:

I agree with you, I agree with you— 

IO: 

And so yes, Israel would— 

EM:

But—

IO:

—fit into that, many countries would. 

EM:

Yeah. I just don’t understand why you’re not willing to say that you would call for an arms embargo on Israel specifically. 

IO:

Because that call is not a specific to Israel. That call is for—

EM:

Right, but now, right now I’m asking you specifically, would that include Israel? And you’ve hedged a bit, and I don’t understand why. 

IO:

Yes, yes. It would. 

EM:

Okay, great, wonderful. Thank you so much for that clarification. So, you kind of obliquely just now referenced the Stop Arming Human Rights Abusers Act, which is a part of this incredible set of foreign policy bills which you’ve rolled out called the Pathway to Peace. And I don’t think that these seven bills have received nearly enough attention. They’re really pretty amazing, and we’ll link to them. Your bill, Resolution on the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court, would have the U.S. ratify the Rome Statute and join the International Criminal Court. If I have this right, that would theoretically further open up Americans to criminal prosecution by the ICC. Would you support the criminal prosecution of the Bush administration for war crimes? 

IO:

That has been something that a lot of people have called for, and as someone who clearly has been against the war in Iraq, I certainly think that there is, if you were, again, to stay within the lines of upholding our principles, it would fit. 

EM:

Yeah. And you write in the book of the Iraq war that “It was clear to me that this was an illegal war.” What should the consequences be for waging an illegal war? You’d think at the least there would be a criminal prosecution, no? 

IO:

Yes. 

EM:

Okay.

IO:

I think there is truly a hypocrisy in the way in which we handle many of these situations. And there is that strange double standard that has made us not join the International Criminal Court because we want to lead, but we don’t want to be held to the same standard. And I think that is problematic. 

EM:

You write almost affectionately about Nancy Pelosi in this book. You recount, for instance, a story about how you’re sleeping on an airplane, and she covers you with a blanket as you slept. I was surprised by this because in the past, she has dismissed the Green New Deal as the “Green Dream or whatever,” she’s criticized Medicare for All, she’s literally applauded Trump’s neocon foreign policies, she’s funded his concentration camps and endless wars, and I could go on. Your colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was interviewed by Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept in 2018 before she was elected, and she was asked if she would support efforts to oust Nancy Pelosi and other house leadership. She was clear and said “I think we need new leadership.” Do you support the ousting of Nancy Pelosi with a more progressive leader?

IO:

We don’t have an opportunity to really predict what the outcome of the next election cycle is going to be. Alexandria and myself both voted for Nancy Pelosi to be our Speaker, because we ultimately believed in having her as a speaker would give us the best chance in fighting this administration and holding it accountable. And it’s interesting that you mention how I describe Nancy in the book with the list of things that you mentioned about her, her stances. And I think it is important for us to remember those things are not indicative of how somebody would behave if somebody were sleeping next to them, and the description that you gave of them—

EM:

No, yeah, I didn’t mean to insinuate that, but— 

IO:

Okay. I don’t know. It felt like that’s what you were insinuating. How can you say something nice about—

EM:

—I do think that there is a bit of a tension though. You are one of the most progressive members of Congress, and I think that if you actually want to pass a progressive agenda, at some point you need leadership that isn’t actively opposed to it. And based on the policies that I—I mean, the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, Trump’s foreign policy, concentration camps, endless wars. She supported the Patriot Act. She knew about CIA torture during the Bush administration and remained silent, and there’s more. And so I’m just a little bit puzzled why you support her, or why you wrote so favorably about her in the book. 

IO:

Because in the book, it’s describing, right, an instance in which I had the opportunity to be traveling with the Speaker. And I’m someone who sort of knocks out when in planes. And it really stood out to me in a way that there was this exchange between the Speaker and myself.  You can certainly have great respect for people who might not be in agreeance with you on everything in regards to the policies that you advocate for. 

EM:

Right.

IO:

But there is a commonality that we can share. And there is an opportunity for us to talk about that. And to celebrate those things.

EM:

Sure. But do you support the ousting of— 

IO:

We don’t live in a world where everything is black and white. 

EM:

Right, I get that. But do you support the ousting of Nancy Pelosi with a more progressive leader?

IO:

I do think it is important for us to fight to make sure that there is more progressive leadership in Congress. 

EM:

Okay. Now, will you be endorsing progressive challenger Shahid Buttar, who will be facing off against Pelosi in the general election in November? If not, why not?

IO:

I have not endorsed against a sitting colleague of mine. It is something I work on and try in the process of trying to really respect the work that we do together as colleagues. 

EM:

So it sounds like you’re not willing to say that you would support Nancy Pelosi being replaced by a progressive. 

IO:

Oh, in leadership, you mean?

EM:

Yes—no, no. Well, in Congress. 

IO:

That’s for the people in her district to decide. 

EM:

Well, but you can’t tell me that you, or AOC, or anyone else are not endorsing candidates outside of your own district. Right?

IO:

We are endorsing candidates outside of our district. I haven’t endorsed a challenger to any of my colleagues. 

EM:

Yeah. So you wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi being replaced by a progressive?

IO:

I am currently not endorsing Nancy Pelosi’s opponent, no. 

EM:

Are you—well, it sounds like you’re supportive of Nancy Pelosi de facto, in that case. Am I mistaken?

IO: 

I do support the Speaker in the speakership currently. 

EM:

Will that change?

IO:

I don’t know. It’s hard to predict what the future holds. 

EM:

Okay. Well, I have to ask about this. In the book you explain that “When I am asked which famous person dead or alive I would want to meet if I could, my answer is always without fail Margaret Thatcher. It surprises people that the leader of Britain’s Conservative Party is my greatest shero. While her politics aren’t mine, she was also a first—the first female prime minister of Britain. Thatcher was a self-starter in the grandest of ways.” Okay. Now, if you could meet any famous person dead or alive, you would pick Margaret Thatcher, whom you describe as “my greatest shero,” a woman whose economic policies left millions of people immiserated, waged an incredibly brutal assault on laborers and unions, and engaged in an imperialist war over colonial possession. Why not some other inspiring women leaders like Constance Baker Motley, or Fannie Lou Hamer, or Lucy Parsons, or Angela Davis, or so many others who have good politics, were real trailblazers, and weren’t awful people? 

IO:

As I spoke about, her “awfulness” is not what I was interested in meeting her for. Again, I mean, she was a first in the grandest of ways. There hasn’t really been a female leader as head of country, or head of state, in her regard who has had the kind of self-starting rise that she has had. And I think oftentimes there is an attribution of male leaders or an invitation to ascend to that leadership, and if you ever paid attention to any of the ways in which she got started, this was someone who did not have any of those opportunities afforded to her. But somehow, something inside of her told her that she can go pursue leadership. And I think when people ask me, “What is it about you that said ‘I can go do this without having any sort of network or connection in the political realm,’” I always said, “I don’t know.” And to have the opportunity to ask another person, who I am curious to know what is it that she had in her heart or head that made her say, “I can do this,” without not just having any other visible person to follow, but also not the support of a network that thought she can. 

EM:

But let me just— 

IO:

It’s something fascinating to me. 

EM:

Yeah. So let me concede the fascination, knowing what’s in her heart or her head. That’s one thing. But you use the phrase, “My greatest shero,” which is a little bit different. That’s laudatory. That’s like praising her beyond just the fact that she had the gumption to take on a man’s world. I mean— 

IO:

“The greatest shero” is in quotations because it’s supposed to be funny. It’s a funny take to have someone like that be a “greatest shero.” So it’s not like a literal sense that she is my greatest shero. 

EM:

Okay. The draft that I looked at—I’ll have to go back and check. I’m not sure that the draft that I saw had it in quotes, but I won’t push further on that. [After checking the electronic text that I was sent, I can confirm that “my greatest shero” was not in quotes.] But I guess my point is what Margaret Thatcher— 

IO:

No, it is. I mean, it is truly, sort of like an oxymoron take on that. Oftentimes, people make an assumption about what—who’s an inspiration. You have things in common. There are paths that they walk that you aspire to that is from sort of the normal tradition of thinking about that. And this isn’t. And so that really, the way in which it is described in the book, this is not the kind of person in which, by any mark, that you would assume, but in curiosity, this person is someone who sparks my curiosity. 

EM:

Yeah. Well, again, I mean, I hate to fall back on the “shero” thing, because you say that it’s sort of meant to be kind of silly, but, I mean, what Margaret Thatcher demonstrates to me is that women are just as capable as men of waging imperialist wars, of crushing unions, and helping to further enrich the wealthy. And women are capable of the same monstrousness as men. 

IO:

Yeah, but who said women were not capable of that? Who ever made the argument that somehow, that because of the gender, that people are not capable of committing atrocities? We’ve had female serial killers for God’s sake. 

EM:

Right. So, is Gina Haspel, who oversaw torture and is now the first woman to be director of the CIA, is she a shero of yours?

IO:

Absolutely not. And I don’t really know anything about her other than that. 

EM:

Okay. Well, that feels sufficient. Alright, so I had just a couple closing topics that I just wanted to touch on. There’s been some excellent recent reporting from Chip Gibbons who found that the FBI opened terrorism investigations into a non-violent solidarity organization, because they sympathize with Palestinians, and are anti-capitalist. And leaked documents a couple of years ago showed that the FBI has also been referring to individuals active with the Black Lives Matter movement as “Black identity extremists.” This is the same agency which murdered Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, with the Chicago Police Department. So I guess I was trying to find out what kinds of oversight and accountability you’re working on for FBI overreach.  You’re of course a Muslim woman of color, and I’m sure that given the long history of surveillance and infringement on civil liberties on the Muslim community and communities of color, your identity has sort of shaped your perspective around this issue. And you even kind of touch on this a little bit in the book.

IO:

Yeah. I mean that’s a really good question. We did a briefing on this awhile back, and we posted it with some independent journalists. And that is actually the beginning of a process we hope to undertake in trying to bring some accountability and oversight into the issue.

EM:

Yeah. Okay, so I just have three final questions. What are the steps you’re taking right now to bring an end to the Afghanistan war, which is the longest war in American history? I know you’ve supported a lot of legislation around ending the war in Yemen, which I really, really appreciate. But I’m wondering: next steps, and what kind of work you’ve been doing around the Afghanistan war?

IO:

So there has been a movement in ending the war in Afghanistan. I certainly support our—the opportunities, the mere opportunities that have existed in trying to create negotiations and bring about peace there. I don’t know currently if any of those things would be fruitful. We’ve certainly had many briefings in which I wouldn’t be able to discuss here. But I think there are ways in which we can ultimately get there. I don’t know if the president we currently have has the capability and the capacity to get us there. But I think we will get there, hopefully soon. 

EM:

Now, you made some comments about President Obama to Politico a while back which got you into a bit of hot water. You criticized his, “caging of kids” and, “droning of countries around the world.” Later you said that Politico had misrepresented what you’d said. But I was a bit puzzled by this retraction, because everything you said was just descriptively true. So I guess I’m wondering—I’m hoping to kind of get a sense of your perspective on Obama’s legacy. I mean here’s someone who has deported more people than Trump, even if you do a year by year comparison. Children were forcibly drugged in Obama’s concentration camps [look at the dates mentioned in the court filings]. He neglected to prosecute Bush administration officials for torture, leaving the door open for future administrations to engage in similar behavior with impunity. On press freedom, he prosecuted more whistleblowers than all past presidents combined. You have Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. Wall Street run amok, non-prosecution of anyone for the financial crisis. And then you have some good mixed in. You have the normalization of relations with Cuba, you have the Iran nuclear deal, and so on. But your perspective?

IO:

Thank you, thank you, for really giving, I think, your listeners an opportunity to fully understand that legacy. I think, oftentimes, what happens is that we get stuck in the glorification of some of the people that we love, and are easy in trying to come up with negative things about the people that we don’t love. And I think having a balanced understanding of those that we’ve admired really is helpful. To me, everything that you’ve stated there that was quoted in that Politico article was correct, and I think the retraction was not an actual retraction. It was the way in which the statements were placed together, and I think the context in which you make the statements often really miss the mark of what you’re trying to say. I’ve been appalled, truly, by the drone program that we have, and we are trying to do what we can, in trying to bring oversight into it now, as I get the opportunity to serve in Congress. And we’ve just [let?] a letter to try to do that. But it’s hard to [wean?] back something like that, and we forget that these policies that are ultimately causing civilian deaths, and have contributed, to my belief, the expansion of terrorist activities in the Horn of Africa, in Libya, in Yemen—are not cohesively thought about. And they’re not talked about within the context of how we have now unleashed a program that is really not in step with our values and principles. And no matter what we do, right, well-intentioned or not, we can’t take back every harm it’s caused, and we certainly can’t do anything in trying to bring it back to a level where it’s sustainable, or even makes sense, right? It’s the same thing with the caging of the children. You can say, “Oh, it wasn’t that bad.” But it’s started, and now it’s there, and there’s a more atrocious process now. But you created this. And so, for me, I want people to remember we do have a choice to create policy, and think about how that policy is going to impact our country, and erode our values and principles 10 years from now. And not just create it to remedy a situation, or a crisis, or whatever without having the foresight. The same thing with the 1994 criminal bill, the crime bill. You can’t say you did something because there was an urgency to address without giving yourself the opportunity to fully understand what this is going to look like once it’s rolled out, and the kind of domino effect it will have on society for generations to come. And at this point, we are stuck in this cycle of apologizing, and whitewashing, and coming up with all kinds of excuses. But the reality is people did implement a program that is not only killing people but also has made it, served itself as a recruitment tool that has ultimately not only not stopped terrorism, but created more opportunities for terrorists to thrive. And in the multiple visits I’ve had to Africa, cases are up by 375 percent. Activities are up by like 890 percent. It’s ridiculous. And now what? It’s 10 years, 12 years into our activities in trying to fight terrorism in Africa. And terror is stronger today. And so in our Pathway to Peace, we offer an opportunity for us to actually utilize a better policy that gets at what the ultimate vulnerability in the area is. We can’t drone people to death. We can’t drone terrorists away. 

EM:

Terrorism is an ideology, it’s not something— 

IO:

Right. We can’t drone terrorism away. And it’s not just the ideology. It’s also borne out of economic hardship, right?

EM:

Right.

IO:

The recruitment for many of these people is—it’s not because they are ideologically beholden to this thought. They are joining because they don’t have other opportunities to thrive. And so they’re being sold a false dream. And so how do we try to have a foreign policy that engages with the Horn of Africa, and builds relationships that allow for us to create investment to deal with the issue of the youth bulge that allows for not only the Horn to be safe, but for the rest of us to be safe as well. We can’t continue to engage in a program that makes them unsafe, and continues to make us unsafe. 

EM:

Right. Well, just to kind of close with one final, lighthearted sort of question. Since you represent Minnesota, I want to end on the right note. My mom is from Minnesota, so I grew up listening to Prince. And probably the best concert I ever went to was Prince at the Target Center on 7/7/07. And you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger Prince fan than I am. How big of a Prince fan are you? Do you have any favorite albums or songs?

IO:

Oh my goodness, yes. I think you probably know this about me. I love Prince. And my favorite song is “When Doves Cry.”

EM:

Okay. Safe answer but respectable. 

IO:

Yeah, yeah, it’s alright. And then I love “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”

EM:

Okay, that’s a slightly deeper cut.

IO:

—is another song that I like.

EM:

 I’m impressed, I’m impressed. Okay.

IO:

And so, I mean, my comms director in my D.C. office is a huge Prince fan as well. 

EM:

Okay

IO:

And we have that in common. We share that all the time. And he recently went to buy me gloves, gloves that have that logo, remember?

EM:

Yeah, right.

IO:

They’re a little big, but they’re pretty cool. 

EM:

Prince’s, you mean Prince’s symbol on the gloves?

IO:

Yeah, the symbol. The one he had on his cheek.

EM:

Got it. Wow, okay. 

IO:

Pretty cool.

EM:

Incredible. So I really appreciate—you were incredibly generous with your time, and a good sport in what was not quite an easy interview, but thank you so much for joining me. Everyone should pick up a copy of your new memoir, This is What America Looks Like. And would you like to plug your social media or other info so that people can stay up to date on the excellent work that you’re doing?

IO:

Yes. So my official handles are @Ilhan on Twitter and Instagram, and then my personal account are @IlhanMN, and one is official stuff mostly, what we’re doing in Congress. The other one has what my personal thoughts are on things. 

EM:

Alright, well, Current Affairs listeners, until next time. Thank you for joining us.

IO:

Thank you.

More In: Interviews

Cover of latest issue of print magazine

Announcing Our Newest Issue

Featuring

A fall edition loaded with surprises and wonders! With articles on: the socialist tendencies of ants, the wretched memoirs of billionaires, the malevolence of Big Tobacco, and much, much more. Plus: nude leftists! Shapes of the month! A secret DNC memo! And a comic about Chuck Schumer meeting aliens.

The Latest From Current Affairs