Here at TPM HQ we're listening to the Director of the Secret Service testify on Capitol Hill. I'll start by saying that my understanding of this Secret Service/jumper controversy has changed pretty dramatically (as I suspect it has for many) after we found out yesterday that the jumper not only made it into the White House but actually ran around pretty far inside it. (Here's a map that illustrates just how far he got.) Indeed, he got pretty close to the actual living quarters of the First Family. That's amazing. And I say this as someone who's been in those rooms that he ran around and has seen just how many Secret Service agents and members of the military (though they're not there in a protective capacity) are packed into the White House.
As we consider the tempest in a teapot of a possible Mitt 2016 run, here's a very interesting passage Mark Leibovich's piece on Romney in the Times Magazine.
“I was talking to one of my political advisers,” Romney continued, “and I said: ‘If I had to do this again, I’d insist that you literally had a camera on me at all times” — essentially employing his own tracker, as opposition researchers call them. “I want to be reminded that this is not off the cuff.”
TPM Reader PT has some thoughts on the less immediately obvious impacts of the return of terror politics ...
I certainly see your point on the return of terror politics. I'd like to add a couple of things, though:
First, I think there's another component of the return of terror politics which you didn't explicitly mention, which is the effect it has on Democratic Party base voters. Speaking for myself, when the whole "we're gonna bomb ISIS" thing happened, my own thoughts / feelings were, "Great, here we go again, only this time with Obama instead of Bush."
Check out this map that shows just how far that fence jumper got into the White House. It's genuinely shocking that anyone could get that far into the compound without being stopped. I've been there. Lots of security.
The lawsuit that Secretary of State Kris Kobach is trying to hitch himself to in order to force a Democrat onto the ballot in the Kansas Senate race now faces a very uncertain future after the lead plaintiff failed to show up today for a hearing in the case.
The plaintiff has been a mystery figure throughout the saga over the Senate ballot. His name is David Orel. He's a registered Democrat, but his son is reportedly a member of the Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's staff. He has refused press interviews, and little is known about his background or his motives in bringing suit.
The biggest news story in Philly for the last few days has been the alleged hate crime against a gay couple downtown by a group of twentysomethings out on the town -- except Pennsylvania doesn't have a hate crime law protecting LGBTs.
There's so much good stuff about Rep. Steve King (R-IA) in Sahil Kapur's profile today, but I especially like an anecdote in which, during his time in the state senate, he said to a female Democratic colleague: "You women don't understand — guns are for men what jewelry is for women."
When he asked that colleague, Johnie Hammond, about it she told TPM:
"There are so many things to be outraged about in Steve's philosophy. I mean, humanism! People! When he talks about calves like cantaloupes, what is that?!" Hammond recalls a conversation the two had back in the legislature when she chided him for using the term "pro-abortion," and he obliged. "Steve needs more of those conversations where you see the humanity in the Democrat."