TPMEditors' Blog Opinions, Context & Ideas from TPM Editors

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

Quote of the Day?

"I have a PhD in Islamic studies from Oxford University, unlike my opponents who went to some donkey college in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia."

Taj Hargey, founder on Capetown's "Open Mosque", which welcomes gay and embraces women's equality, on his qualifications as a religious leader.

Obama Should Put His Foot Down

As you know, a fence-jumper managed to hop the White House fence on Friday and get just inside a White House foyer before he was subdued. The White House seems to be something of a magnet for people - often with some range of psychiatric problems - who hop the fence and make a dash for the mansion. In almost every case, they're tackled somewhere on the lawn before they get very far. But this breach last week is leading the Secret Service to consider further extending the White House security perimeter. President Obama should say no.

Read More →