Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

Americans are predominantly supportive of the Israeli cause in the nearly week-long conflict that's engulfed the Gaza Strip, according to a poll from CNN and ORC International released on Monday.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe that Israel has been justified in its ongoing military strikes in Gaza, while only one in four believe the attacks have been unjustified. Moreover, "nearly six in ten say their sympathies are with the Israelis," compared with a mere 13 percent who back the Palestinians in the conflict. Eleven percent said they support neither side. 

But despite the robust support for Israel, CNN notes that the poll still found division in attitudes along ideological, generational and gender-based lines:

"Although most Americans think the Israeli actions are justified, there are key segments of the public who don't necessarily feel that way," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only four in ten Democrats think the Israeli actions in Gaza are justified, compared to 74% of Republicans and 59% of independents. Support for Israel's military action is 13 points higher among men than among women, and 15 points higher among older Americans than among younger Americans."


For the second time in as many days, witnesses in Gaza City on Monday claimed that an Israeli airstrike connected with a downtown building that houses several local and foreign news outlets, the Associated Press reports

One person was reportedly killed from the strike. Al Aqsa, a Hamas-run television station, is based in the building. 

The Israeli government said Sunday that more than 44 million cyber attacks have been launched on its websites since it began its aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip last week. According to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, only one such hacking attempt proved successful but the site was operational after being taken offline for only 10 minutes. 

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement on Sunday calling for an end to the violence between Israel and Hamas militants in and around the Gaza Strip. The U.N. chief said he is flying to the region to "appeal personally" for both sides to reach a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The statement:

I am deeply saddened by the reported deaths of more than ten members of the Dalu family, including women and children, and additional Palestinian civilians killed as a result of the ongoing violence in the Gaza strip.  I am also alarmed by the continuing firing of rockets against Israeli towns, which has killed several Israeli civilians.  This must stop. I strongly urge the parties to cooperate with all efforts led by Egypt to reach an immediate cease fire. Any further escalation will inevitably increase the suffering of the affected civilian populations and must be avoided.

I am heading to the region to appeal personally for ending the violence and contribute to ongoing efforts to that end.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Israel of committing "terrorist acts" in its nearly week-long conflict with Hamas militants located in the Gaza Strip, Reuters reports. 

"Those who associate Islam with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza," Erdogan said during a conference in Istanbul. "For this reason, I say that Israel is a terrorist state, and its acts are terrorist acts."

The health ministry in Gaza on Monday reported that the Palestinian death toll had reached 91 in the last six days of fighting.

The health ministry in Gaza on Monday said that the Palestinian death toll over the last six days of traded fire between Hamas fighters and the Israeli military has climbed to 91, the New York Times reports. Seven hundred Palestinians, including 200 children, have been wounded in the conflict. 

There may not be a consensus yet on how much political capital President Obama picked up in his re-election, but a number of post-election polls suggest his victory did wonders for his public standing.

A USA Today/Gallup survey released on Friday showed Obama and his party drawing goodwill from much of the country in the wake of their triumph at the ballot box last week. Fifty-eight percent of Americans have a favorable view of the president — up 3 points from the USA Today/Gallup poll conducted right before the election. It's also his highest favorability rating in the poll since July of 2009.

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Reince Priebus will run for re-election as chairman of the Republican National Committee, CNN reports. 

According to CNN, Priebus on Friday sought support from top GOP officials throughout the country. Early indications are that he is a favorite to continue as chairman.

From CNN:

Several officials familiar with the process said they think as of now Priebus has enough support to win.

"He is reaching out to members about his plans to run for re-election. He enjoys deep support on the committee, and I expect him to be re-elected with overwhelming support support (sic). At this point, no one else is making any efforts to contact RNC members about challenging Priebus," one RNC member told CNN, on the condition of anonymity.



A gun shop in Arizona has a clear message to would-be customers who happened to vote for President Barack Obama: take your business elsewhere. 

Southwest Shooting Authority in Pinetop, Ariz. took out an advertisement last week in the local newspaper, the White Mountain Independentthat spelled out the store's new policy in explicit terms.

"If you voted for Barack Obama your business is not welcome at Southwest Shooting Authority," the ad reads. "You have proven that you are not responsible enough to own a firearm."

A sign on the store's front door contains a similar message. Cope Reynolds, the owner of the Southwest Shooting Authority, posted a letter on the website AmmoLand shortly after the election last week to explain his motives, writing that his personal convictions trump profit:

To Whom it May Concern:

I thought you all might be interested in this.

We will try to demonstrate once again that the bottom line for our business is principle, not money.

Yes, it has been damaging at times but our values are intact.

Effective immediately, if you voted for Obama, your money is no good here. You have proven beyond a doubt that you are not responsible enough to own a firearm. We have just put a sign up on the front door to save you the trouble of walking all the way in here...

I took this ad out in our local paper. It will come out in the White Mountain Independent tomorrow, 9 November

Cope Reynolds