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Things Can Always Get Worse

I doubt I need to tell you that it's an incredibly dangerous development that a jet fighter of a NATO member country, Turkey, appears to have shot down a Russian fighter jet operating over a sliver of Turkish territory on the Syria-Turkey border. Allegedly. (Happily for all involved, the pilots appear to have ejected safely from the plane.) It is well worth asking what exactly the Turks were thinking and how far this decision went up the chain of command in Turkey. That said, what's not getting a huge amount of attention is that Turkish and Russian jet fighters got into a dog fight or an aerial confrontation of some sort and the Russian fighter got shot down. Maybe that's random chance. But I doubt it.

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The Real Story Behind Trump's Cheering Muslims 9/11 Fever Dream

You've probably seen this firestorm which has erupted about Donald Trump's claim that he watched thousands of Muslim residents in North Jersey celebrating as the Twin Towers fell fourteen years ago. We just published a fascinating piece on it. Needless to say, nothing remotely like that actually happened. And since it didn't happen, Donald Trump definitely didn't see it. Neither did Ben Carson, who also claimed that he saw the video today. (It's frankly amazing that the whole GOP primary race is now dominated by a demonstrably absurd claim.) But what's really interesting is that it's yet another case where Trump has reached into a subterranean stew of urban legend, rumors and conspiracy theories that have been bubbling along for years and forced them into the mainstream dialog. There were rumors in the days and weeks after 9/11 that something like that has happened. Here are the origins of some of those rumors, the genealogy, if you will, of Donald Trump's latest nonsense.

The Onward March of Bullshit

Quite apart from whether we do or don't have a good strategy for combatting ISIS, we are definitely in one of those bewildering interludes where cable news is chock full of completely nonsensical 'expert' claims which actually make no sense at all. A few moments ago, in an interview on MSNBC, an expert said that (close to verbatim, but paraphrased) 'Clearly our strategy isn't working. Because if it was, ISIS would not have been able to release a propaganda video every day for the last eight days."

I know that the cable nets need to keep the conversation going 24/7 no matter what. But it's genuinely disturbing if this kind of nonsense talk ends up playing a role in the formulation of policy.

Wisdom From Josh

Next time Donald Trump says something outrageous, offensive, ridiculous or demonstrably unconstitutional and you find yourself saying he's now going to decline in the polls, let me help. No. That's not going to happen.

Some people seem to be having a hard time detecting this pattern.

Not Ready

Marco Rubio gets a speck too candid, calling the Paris massacre a "positive development" in terms of moving the campaign toward his focus on national security.