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A Wonderful Moment

During congressional testimony today Rep. Ken Buck (R) of Colorado explained a new dimension of the Syrian refugee question to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez: Benghazi.

Clumsy Boy

Unless you haven't been paying attention to the American political debate for the last half dozen years, you know that Republicans insist that it is a critical part of fighting terrorism that our leaders talk about "Islam" or "radical Islam" or some phrase that includes the word "Islam" to be able to protect ourselves and win our epic battle against the jihadists. There are more and less sophisticated versions of the argument. And usually presidential candidates will carefully go through the motions of explaining that we have no quarrel with Islam but only "radical Islam" or some subset of extremists. But Marco Rubio appeared on This Week last weekend. And it was a good example of why this seeming hyper-caution is actually pretty important and how in particularly clumsy hands or in the hands of someone new to these issues this approach can lead to major problems.

Coming off the last Democratic presidential debate, this issue again got a big airing, with Republicans attacking all the candidates for refusing to invoke the I-word. So George Stephanopoulos played Hillary Clinton's remarks and then asked Rubio to respond. Here's the exchange ...

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How The Hell Did It Come To This?

I had thought the Syrian passport found at the scene of one of the Paris attacks -- and now generally believed to be a fake -- was the spark that lit the anti-Syrian-refugee fire. But upon closer look, the fire had been smoldering in right-wing circles well before the Paris attacks. Tierney Sneed has a tick tock on how the homegrown attacks in Paris turned into an xenophobic inferno in the United States, where interning of Syrian refugees is now being publicly proposed with a straight face.

Return To Sender

Caitlin MacNeal talked to the Tennessee state representative who wants to round up Syrian refugees in his state and ship them back. He claims he was taken out of context in earlier news reports. What he really wants to do, he says, is round up any Syrian refugees Obama shoves down Tennessee's throat going forward and send them back the ICE facility in New Orleans. The Syrian refugees already in Tennessee are safe. Glad we cleared that up.

TPM's 15th Anniversary Merch

Do you love TPM? Have you loved TPM since the very beginning when it was better knows as Talking Points Memo with Joshua Micah Marshall? What better way to show off your love than some new TPM merchandise?

Celebrate TPM's 15th Anniversary with some special edition merch over at Shopping Points Memo. And, if there's anything you'd like to see in the store, but don't see, shoot us an email at talk@talkingpointsmemo.com with ideas!

Oh C'mon

Some of the GOP presidential candidates are demanding equal time after Donald Trump got to host Saturday Night Live. In Sara Jerde's piece there's a letter from Sen. Lindsey Graham asking for equal time. But isn't 180 appearances on Meet the Press at least an even trade?