TPMEditors' Blog Opinions, Context & Ideas from TPM Editors

Crickets ...

As Dylan Scott points out, the GOP's big anti-Obamacare talking point -- okay, fine, people may be signing up but not enough people are paying their premiums! -- has been blown out of the water by subsequent data. But you won't hear anything about it from those who were trafficking in this meme back in the spring. Silence. Here are the main culprits.

Poping In America

Interesting piece at TPMCafe on the changes Pope Francis has already wrought in the American Catholic Church:

In less than two years, Pope Francis has changed the face of a two-thousand-year old institution. His emphasis on humility, mercy and social justice offer a vivid contrast to a vocal minority of U.S. Christian leaders who only see dark clouds and battles to fight. Think of it as the joy of the Gospel v. culture war Christianity fight. The latter is being kicked to the curb by a pope determined to rescue the church from self-righteous ideologues, princely clerics and conservative activists who think opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion are the only real litmus tests of authentic Catholicism.

More here.

Latest Out Of Kansas Senate Race

Kanas Supreme Court deals another big blow to Kris Kobach's big gambit to head off Democrats' big gambit. Yeah, it get's confusing. But make no mistake: This morning's decision significantly increases the chances that Sen. Pat Roberts (R) will have to face independent Greg Orman without a Democrat on the ballot.

Strikes Begin Over Syria

From the AP ...

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says the U.S. and partner nations have begun airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State militants, using a mix of fighter jets, bombers and Tomahawk missiles fired from ships in the region.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says that because the military operation is ongoing, no details can be provided yet. He says the decision to strike was made early Monday by the military.

The strikes are part of the expanded military campaign that President Barack Obama's authorized nearly two weeks ago in order to disrupt and destroy the Islamic State militants, who have slaughtered thousands of people, beheaded Westerners, including two American journalists, and captured a large swath of territory stretching from within Syria to land across northern and Western Iraq.

Were We Watching This Guy?

I reiterate the point I made this morning about not expanding the security perimeter around the White House. But some interesting new information has surfaced about fence jumper, Omar Gonzalez. After the jumping incident, police found "more than 800 rounds of ammo in his car plus two hatchets and a machete." At an earlier stop in Virginia in July, police found several assault rifles and a sawed off shotgun. While this news ups the ante about what sort of threat Gonzalez may have posed, the details tend to confirm what most news reports have noted: that Gonzalez has serious psychological problems. Presumably if he'd been making a rational attempt at killing someone in the White House he would have brought one of his weapons with him.

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Bundyism Lives On; Gets Indicted

Cliven Bundy and his clan were not prosecuted for their armed standoff with federal land management employees earlier this year. But an ATV protest ride - which happened just after the standoff and was closely associated with the Bundy protest has not been so lucky. Five Utah men have now been charged with federal misdemeanor conspiracy and misuse of federal lands tied to the protest.

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