The Fix: Master Archives
1. On Monday night (U.S. time), the United States began airstrikes in Syria. Dan Lamothe writes that it was "likely the single largest day for the U.S. military in terms of ordnance dropped since the opening salvos of its 2011 campaign in Libya, when both airstrikes and scores of Tomahawk missile strikes were used to target the forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi." He explains why.
It's a real testament to the fact that we're grasping desperately for non-Hillary Clinton Democratic presidential candidates when Washington starts getting a little buzzy about Jim Webb running for president.
No, that's not to take anything away from Webb's service — including as a war hero, Navy secretary under Ronald Reagan and one-term senator from Virginia. It's just that there wouldn't seem to be a more unlikely presidential hopeful than Jim Webb.
Latino activists across the country pledged another Freedom Summer if President Obama went through on his promised executive action on immigration reform. They promised that they would flood states across the country, knocking on doors and helping Democrats keep the Senate. And they said Obama would be known as the "great emancipator" if he acted.
Attorney General Eric Holder made an announcement on Tuesday that, outside of any additional context, seems rather modest: the number of prisoners incarcerated by the federal government dropped by about 5,000 in fiscal year 2014 (which ends on September 30).
Why is that notable? It's the first such drop in over three decades. President Obama put a focus on reducing the nation's prison population, proposing reforms that he hoped would reduce the racial disparities in sentencing. The Justice Department also announced plans to reduce the sentences of felons who met certain stipulations. But, it's not obvious these changes are the reason for the drop; the rate of incarceration was already falling since the beginning of the century, albeit slowly and jerkily.
Speaker John Boehner was in the Hamptons this weekend. The Republican lawmaker attended a fundraiser for New York state senator Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate challenging Rep. Tim Bishop. While he was in Long Island, Boehner also stopped by the popular Almond restaurant in East Hampton, as we learned from former representative Anthony Weiner -- whose brother owns the French bistro.
Today is National Voter Registration Day. Many people are celebrating by registering to vote. However, they would enjoy the holiday much more if they had a candle that smells like freedom. Oh, and it should wear a patriotic hat too.
Just like that! The brands know us so well.
Today is National Voter Registration Day! RT #CelebrateNVRD and register to vote today: http://t.co/3KJvxUM4Qy pic.twitter.com/IcUkDYqLhP
On June 3, 2008, Barack Obama clinched the Democratic nomination for the presidency. That night, he spoke from St. Paul, Minn.
As the half hour speech culminates, Obama outlines what he hopes will be his legacy. "Generations from now," he says:
… we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless. This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal. This was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.
To hear Democrats tell it, the Republican Party is the tea party. To hear the tea party tell it, the tea party is a totally different entity, composed of Americans of all political stripes (including Democrats!).
Both are gross over-simplifications.
As the below chart from the Public Religion Research Institute shows, the group of people who identify as tea partiers is in fact a very small portion of the Republican Party, but it's also overwhelmingly contained within the Republican Party.
All eyes in the political world are on Kansas with Sen. Pat Roberts (R) emerging as the linchpin of Republicans' hopes of retaking the Senate, and Gov. Sam Brownback being cast as a conservative experiment gone wrong. To make sense of just what is going on in Kansas, I reached out to Burdett "Bird" Loomis, a longtime professor of political science at the University of Kansas. (Loomis is also a Democrat.) Our conversation -- conducted via email and edited only for grammar and clarity -- is below.
Michelle Obama's fall calendar is starting to fill up, much to the delight of Democrats as they try to beat back a Republican surge fueled, largely by the dislike many people have for her husband. Michelle Obama has, to date, campaigned in Georgia for Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and is also set to appear for Iowa Senate candidate, Bruce Braley, Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke and Rep. Mike Michaud, running in a three way race for Maine governor. She has also done 26 events for the Democratic National Committee this year, mostly fundraisers.