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

This may be the quote of the year in politics. First, here's the quick backstory.

Kansas state Rep. Steve Brunk (R) is entertaining a job offer from the policy arm of Focus on the Family. (They say they've already hired him, but he says he won't make a decision until January, which seems fishy in its own right.) But Brunk has no plans to step down from his legislative seat when (ahem ... if) he takes the new job with the anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage outfit. In fact he says why wouldn't you want to hire the guy who chairs the committee where the group's most pressing legislative items are decided?

Via the very capable Bryan Lowry at the Wichita Eagle, here's Brunk's epic quote:

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This nugget from Politico about the internal Senate GOP wrangling as they gear up for the big messaging vote to whack Obamacare Medicaid expansion, defund Obamacare, and howl at the moon is the most revealing thing I've seen about how craven this whole exercise is.

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Ben Railton has an interesting piece at TPMCafe about how the United States has since the earliest days of the Republic carefully avoided casting its conflicts in Muslim regions as a "War on Islam." Particularly interesting is this language from the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797:

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Read Ben here.

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.

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.