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Smarter Than It Seemed?

TPM Reader JG says the federal stand-down outside the Bundy Ranch over the weekend may have been shrewder than it seemed ... (Also note that the local 'militia' reportedly planned to use women as human shields.)

I grew up in southern Utah, not far from the Bundy ranch standoff -- and the stuff going on there turns my stomach. I share Josh's concern about letting the camo crowd scare off the BLM, though it's probably wise in the short term. Here's why:

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"Not Over"

Harry Reid says the Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada is "not over". This comes on the heels of reports yesterday that the local 'militia' that stood down federal officials had plans to use women as 'human shields' in the event a fire fight broke out.

Holy Crap, We Interviewed Frazier Glenn Miller

I just learned that back in 2012 we interviewed Frazier Glenn Miller, the man now accused of being the shooter in yesterday's Jewish Community Center shootings in Kansas City. The reporter was Ryan Reilly, now a reporter with the Huffington Post.

At the time we were interested in Miller because he was an associate and supporter of Kevin Harpham, the man behind the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. parade bombing in Spokane, Washington. Miller, on the other hand, was mainly interested in whether our reporter was Jewish (Reilly? really?) and whether he thought Ron Paul was being mistreated by the mainstream media.

Miller told us he believed Harpham had been framed because it didn't figure he'd bomb an MLK parade. "He was more of an anti-Semite than an anti-black racist. He focused on what the Jews were doing to us, rather than what blacks do to us. Blacks, they have little power except what the Jews allow them to have. Jews call the shots. But white people, we have no power at all. We have nobody representing us, we have no leaders, we have no organization, we have no unity, no solidarity, we're not even allowed to complain about our extinction."

Conservative is the New Black

Last week, after Stephen Colbert’s big promotion was announced, one of far-right conservatism’s rising luminaries, Ben Shapiro, lashed out at Colbert for practicing what he called “political blackface.” This came, aptly enough, just after Jon Chait published his piece on the right and left’s maniacal divide over race in which Republicans, compromised by race, are nonetheless legitimately paranoid that they’re constantly being falsely accused of racism and liberals, on the right side of the race issue, nonetheless won’t let conservatives say anything edgy without forcing it through the prism of racial offense.

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A Note on Years of Living Dangerously

I wanted to take a moment to tell you about an ad campaign we're starting on Wednesday. Normally I don't do this. Actually as a matter of policy. But in this case there's a personal dimension which has inevitably informed how I've approached it. So I wanted to share some backstory, which oddly enough ties in to something like a year of reporting I did a decade ago on the Niger uranium forgeries.

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A Crabapple in Istanbul

I wanted to give you a quick heads-up on one of our upcoming longform Prime pieces. Artist and author Molly Crabapple is currently in Istanbul on assignment for TPM reporting a piece on Erdogan's Turkey, post-Gezi - talking with dissidents, free-speech and Internet activists, football clubers, Imams and more. (She recently wrote about her visit to the Guantanamo Bay prison facility for Vice. TPM's Catherine Thompson interviewed her about the piece here.) Prime Recep Tayyip Erdogan just won a convincing round of victories in local elections around Turkey, despite the increasingly polarized state of Turkish society. Turkey still has elections on schedule and even his staunchest opponents don't question Erdogan's recent victory was procedurally legitimate. But with his increasingly authoritarian style of governance, reaching his hand deep into the sinews of Turkish society, is Turkey still a democracy? And where is it headed? Stay turned for Crabapple's piece appearing soon at TPMPrime.

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Ted Cruz: Thanks, Obama

Ted Cruz's career in Washington has been defined thus far by his efforts to dismantle President Obama's signature legislation. On… Read More →