September 21, 2015

Top Stories

Anti-Muslim Activists Still Think Ahmed Mohamed May Have Built 'Half A Bomb'

The Gist: Activists like Pamela Geller have condemned the praise the Texas teen has received in the last week, calling the clock he built a "provocation."

Ben Carson Stands By Belief That Muslim Shouldn't Be Prez Despite Criticism

The Gist: The GOP candidate reiterated his view that Islam is not compatible with the U.S. Constitution and that he wouldn’t “advocate” for a Muslim to become president.

Pro-Confederate Flag Group Advertises Cause With Misspelled Banner

The Gist: A Virginia group that advocates for the use of the Confederate flag advertised its cause with a banner reading “Confederate heros matter.”

From The Reporter's Notebook

Anti-Muslim activists like Frank Gaffney and Pam Geller have been careful in how they refer to Ahmed Mohamed's clock. TPM reporter Catherine Thompson points out that they put it in scare quotes, as if to say the media invented the arrest narrative to cover more nefarious motives, or else they call it a "device" or "half a bomb." Gaffney and Geller know that language matters and they've been manipulating it over the past week to mask their Islamophobia in a more common-sense "see something, say something" message.

Agree or Disagree?

According to Josh Marshall, “The best way to look at the current, unstructured campaign isn't who's up or down at a given moment but which of the plausible national candidates are succeeding or failing at putting together viable national coalitional support and a viable campaign. To me the viable national candidates in the race are Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker.”

Say What?!

"My views on our Hispanic friends across this country have been very positive...They are impactful in so many ways."

- John Kasich had to respond to criticism of his anecdote about his experience with a Hispanic hotel employee.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "I think our policy in Syria has been a disaster, pretty much from beginning to end. I personally feel that either more muscular or less engaged would likely have turned out better - this current schizophrenic policy of engagement without actual engagement is very clearly not working. So how can something be rescued from the wreckage? To my mind, there is only one way out at this stage - bite the bullet and negotiate with Putin. Russia pretty clearly wants to negotiate with the US right now, although they are not going to come out and say so. Pressure on their economy from sanctions and low oil prices has chastened them some - look how much Ukraine has quieted down the last month or so. And their recent stepped-up role in Syria is a signal that they are not just going to walk away here."

Related: Obama shot down criticism of his Syria policy last summer, calling it "horsesh*t."

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What We're Reading

U.S. Homeland Security is vulnerable to hacks, too. (Reuters)

The GOP, or the "Everything is Bad" party. (Politico)

Florida's rehab system is riddled with fraud. (Buzzfeed)