David Sanger & Anne Barnard of the New York Times: "The Pentagon said on Saturday that it had conducted its first strikes against Islamic State targets in a besieged Kurdish area of Syria along the Turkish border, destroying two armored vehicles in an area that has been the subject of a weeklong onslaught by the Islamic State. The action around Kobani, where at least 150,000 refugees have crossed into Turkey, appeared to signify the opening of a new front for American airstrikes in Syria, and came on a day when several other strikes took place in Raqqa, the de facto headquarters of the Islamic State's forces, and other sites in the eastern part of the country." ...
... Martin Pengelly of the Guardian: "As British jets took off from Cyprus to carry out strikes on Islamic State (Isis) targets in Iraq on Saturday, and US-led strikes continued in Syria and Iraq, President Barack Obama used his weekly address to say American leadership was 'the one constant in an uncertain world'.... On Saturday afternoon, the Department of Defence released a statement regarding the latest strikes, which said that Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates had participated in strikes on Syria." ...
... In a rambling column, Maureen Dowd makes one important point: "As the U.S. woos the Arab coalition, Arab leaders are not speaking out against the atrocities of ISIS against women.
Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post tells the chilling story of how in 2011 a man took seven shots that hit the White House residence while Sasha Obama & Marian Robinson were inside & Malia Obama was expected shortly. The Secret Service was clueless -- saying first that the shots were car backfires & later they were from gangs shooting at each other -- until a maid found a broken window & debris on the Truman balcony days later.
Thomas Frank interviews Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for Salon. Sanders: "... there are some great people in the Democratic Party who spend an enormous amount of time and energy fighting for working people, and I work with those guys. But I don't think anybody would say, as a whole, that the Democratic Party is the party of the American working class." ...
... CW: I don't know that this is the video to which Sanders refers in the interview, but it's great anyway. From 2003, when Sanders was in the House. Greenspan's smirk while Sanders is speaking & his nonresponsive "answer" to Sanders' question are disgusting:
Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post: "The Pew Forum on Religion and Public life ... finds a growing appetite for belief in the ballot box, and politics in the pulpit. These shifts are largely happening on the Republican side of the aisle. And among Republicans, the changes are driven by white evangelical concern that the country is becoming less favorable to religion and, inexplicably, more hostile toward white evangelicals.... Fifty-nine percent of Republicans want churches to speak out on political issues, compared to 42 percent of Democrats.... Fifty percent of white evangelicals say that there is a lot of discrimination against them." Via Steve Benen.
Ian Shapira of the Washington Post: "Hours before a controversial segment of 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' aired Thursday night, a lawyer for the four Washington Redskins fans featured in it sent one of the program's producers a letter revoking their consent to appear in the piece." Too bad, the segment aired anyway. See yesterday's Commentariat.
After reading Bernie Sanders' remarks, it's extra-disheartening to learn than Joni Ernst, a far-right Tea party loon who is Iowa's Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, is now leading Democrat Bruce Braley, a fairly liberal member of the House, by 6 points.
Jonathan Martin of the New York Times: "In an election year shaped by voter anger toward the political establishment, the outcome of an unusually large number of close Senate and governor's races could be determined by the outsize role of third-party candidates."
Election law expert Rick Hasen on the 7th Circuit's decision that allowed the Wisconsin voter suppression law to be imposed for the November election: "I expect that the plaintiffs will next try the Supreme Court. Ordinarily I've been saying that progressives need to stay out of the Supreme Court on these voting rights cases. But (a) this is a really egregious order changing the rules midstream in violation of the Supreme Court's own admonition in the Purcell v. Gonzalez case; and (b) now that the Court has before it the Ohio case, presenting a similar section 2 Voting Rights Act issue but with much worse facts for voting rights advocates, it would be better for this to be up there at the same time."
Lyle Denniston of ScotusBlog: "Arguing that early voting is necessary to continue to deal with the 'unprecedented disaster' at the polls in Ohio in 2004, several civil rights advocacy groups urged the Supreme Court on Saturday to permit Ohioans to start casting their ballots next Tuesday for this year's general election. Allowing that would merely keep in place what the state has been doing for the past four elections, and would not affect any other state, the fifty-four-page brief contended."
Beyond the Beltway
DeNeed Brown & Mark Berman of the Washington Post: "Two days after Ferguson's police chief issued them an apology, Michael Brown's parents said they have no confidence in the justice system in Missouri, where a grand jury will decide whether to charge the officer who killed their son. The lack of trust, they said, began the day their son was shot, when they rushed to the scene but were confronted by officers who 'gave us the finger' and 'sicced dogs' on the crowd. 'We just got rudeness and disrespect,' said Lesley McSpadden, the mother of the unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot Aug. 9 by a white police officer in the small suburb outside St. Louis." ...
... Jim Salter of the AP: "A Ferguson police officer was shot in the arm Saturday night after encountering two men at a community center who ran from him and then opened fire during a foot chase, authorities said. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a media briefing early Sunday that the officer approached the men around 9:10 p.m. because the community center was closed. As the officer approached, the men ran away. When the officer gave chase, 'one of the men turned and shot,' Belmar said."
Whitney Wild of KUSA Denver: "For the fifth school day in a row, students from Jefferson County[, Colorado,] public schools walked out in protest.... [Link fixed.] At the heart of it all, changes to the teacher pay scale and conservative board member Julie Williams' proposal to create a review committee for AP US History courses. Williams says materials shouldn't condone or encourage civil disorder and social strife.... When we asked for examples of historical events she fears are misrepresented, Williams couldn't point to one."
New York Times: "An American drone strike in northwestern Pakistan killed at least four people suspected of being militants, Pakistani officials said Sunday."
New York Times: "On Sunday, the sixth men's [marathon] world record was achieved in Berlin in the last 11 years as Dennis Kimetto of Kenya ran 2 hours 2 minutes 57 seconds. Running the flat course, aided by a phalanx of pacesetters in cool weather, Kimetto became the first person to run 26.2 miles under 2:03 and shattered the previous record by 26 seconds. It had been set only a year ago in Berlin by a fellow Kenyan, Wilson Kipsang."
AP: Alleged cop-killer Eric Frein of Canadensis, Pennsylvania, (Poconos) continues to evade searchers after 16 days. "Frein is described by authorities as a survivalist, marksman and war re-enactment enthusiast who planned the attack for years, extensively researching how to avoid police manhunts and experimenting with explosives. Frein has held anti-law enforcement views for many years, police said."