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David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

The most compelling figure in our story on armed contractors patrolling private lands in northern California for illegal marijuana farms is the beleaguered county sheriff: "Honestly, what could possibly go wrong here? A lot more things are going to go wrong than are going to go right." Read it.

The fact pattern in that case striking down Louisiana's gay marriage ban reads like a law school exam question: lesbian conceives child via artificial insemination, legally marries lesbian partner in California, moves to Louisiana, where same-sex marriage is outlawed and where partner tries to legally adopt the child.

So it's an adoption case, with same-sex marriage implications. In the same way, the landmark Windsor ruling was a tax case with same sex marriage implications.

Beyond the intricate legal questions, there are obviously very personal and poignant matters at stake. I don't mean to minimize that. We explored some of those dilemmas last year as it became clear that, for a while at least, the country would have a patchwork of marriage laws, some allowing same sex marriage and some not, with gay partners forced to make very difficult life decisions.

As Dylan Scott points out, the GOP's big anti-Obamacare talking point -- okay, fine, people may be signing up but not enough people are paying their premiums! -- has been blown out of the water by subsequent data. But you won't hear anything about it from those who were trafficking in this meme back in the spring. Silence. Here are the main culprits.

Interesting piece at TPMCafe on the changes Pope Francis has already wrought in the American Catholic Church:

In less than two years, Pope Francis has changed the face of a two-thousand-year old institution. His emphasis on humility, mercy and social justice offer a vivid contrast to a vocal minority of U.S. Christian leaders who only see dark clouds and battles to fight. Think of it as the joy of the Gospel v. culture war Christianity fight. The latter is being kicked to the curb by a pope determined to rescue the church from self-righteous ideologues, princely clerics and conservative activists who think opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion are the only real litmus tests of authentic Catholicism.

More here.

Kanas Supreme Court deals another big blow to Kris Kobach's big gambit to head off Democrats' big gambit. Yeah, it gets confusing. But make no mistake: This morning's decision significantly increases the chances that Sen. Pat Roberts (R) will have to face independent Greg Orman without a Democrat on the ballot.

TPM has just confirmed that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has ordered that absentee ballots for overseas military personnel be shipped out immediately without the name of any Democratic candidate on them.

This is a seeming reversal from Kobach's earlier stated plan to delay the issuance of those ballots until Democrats submitted a new nominee.

If you're new to the story, the previous Democratic nominee withdrew from the race as part of a pretty obvious but still unconfirmed Dem plan to clear the field for independent Greg Orman to take on incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). Kobach, for his part, has been trying to thwart that plan. His political motives are about as thinly veiled as Dems' were in getting their nominee out of the race in the first place.

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