Leader of self-styled 'militia' whose leaders took it upon themselves to start patrolling the US-Mexico border was arrested earlier this month. When feds searched his hotel room they found a big cache of weapons and a supply of ammonium nitrate which is of course used for making car bombs and other similar high explosive devices for freedom.
Nona joins us in our New York City office after a year as an education and poverty reporter at NBC News Digital. Many of you are likely familiar with her writing at publications like The Atlantic, Washington Post, NYMag.com, The Nation, The American Prospect, Tablet, Rookie, Elle, and Marie Claire, among others. Nona was also an Associate Editor at Good during its all too brief heyday and cofounder of Tomorrow magazine.
We are very excited about this hire and very excited about what we are about to build. Nona will be working with us to develop a new section of TPM which will take a vivid, fresh look at American society and culture - high and low - beyond the narrow confines of politics and breaking news. In addition to a more expansive canvas, our new venture will focus on longer-form reporting and essays in contrast to TPM's more familiar kinetic, iterative coverage of the day's events.
We may not have captured this completely in our coverage, but the brouhaha over the political science research project gone so wrong in Montana (and now in California) has been a very big deal in political science circles since the news broke late last week. I know some readers will be amused that anything could be buzzy in the cloistered poli sci world. But this has really captured the attention of everyone in the profession, and reignited some long running debates about field research, the proper ethical lines to draw during research, and a host of related issues.
We've mostly avoided going too far into that part of the story because, let's face it, poli sci research dos and don'ts are pretty damn weedy and matter only to those who do it for a living. But TPM Reader Dan Carpenter, a professor of government at Harvard, wrote in with his insights on the mess, and I think it gives you a good sense of how big a deal some of these issues are within the academy and why this episode has received so much attention. And it's just plain thoughtful and interesting. Here's Carpenter:
As we noted here, an Atlantic article by Jeff Goldberg has reignited the smoldering war of words and emotion between Benjamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration. Capturing most of the attention is an unnamed administration official calling Netanyahu, among other things, a "chickenshit." It's important to understand the aim of the barb - namely that Netanyahu is too scared of losing power in Israel to take the steps necessary to achieve a settlement or even a substantial improvement of relations with the Palestinians.
TPM has obtained the mailer that Dartmouth and Stanford researchers sent to California voters. It's very similar to the mailer they sent in Montana that's caused so much trouble, right down to the use of the state seal, in this case California's. The California secretary of state's office hadn't seen the mailer until we showed it them. Unauthorized use of the state seal is a violation of state law, so now the state is looking into the matter.