Political reads you won't believe

"Ben Carson Is Struggling to Grasp Foreign Policy, Advisers Saybecause it's not brain surgery," suggests Kas Thomas, sharing today's top, strange-but-true story from the New York Times (at 36,000 shares and counting). "How did @tripgabriel get Carson's foreign policy team to criticize him on the record? In awe," admits Politico's Glenn Thrush. "It makes me sad to know that I will retire without ever writing anything as awesome as this," similarly notes Slate's Isaac Chotiner. "I don't know what the best part of this article is, but probably this quote: 'So we can make him smart,'" details Elizabeth Sile with Departures Magazine. Speaking for practically everyone, Fortune's Robert Hackett reacts, "thank goodness for @TheOnion wait.. wait. @nytimes. no. it can't. no. but. this is amazing." "Somewhere, Donald Trump has an aide printing this story out on xerox paper, laughing," predicts NYT's Maggie Haberman, later adding, "With bonus ethnic slur about the Chinese as the kicker." That kicker, by the way, leads Washington Post's Mark Berman to demand, "WHAT IS HAPPENING." We feel and empathize with the pain of your confusion, Mark. But Texas Monthly's Erica Grieder brings us all back to earth with this reminder: "OK this is pretty bad but let's keep in mind that Carson is to date the only pol with a record of beating Trump."

Two terrorist suspects have been killed and seven held after a raid in Saint-Denis, CNN reports. A police dog named Diesel reportedly was killed during the raid, as well, triggering the hashtag #JeSuisChien to go viral. "In #Cairo, we were used to these sounds, this violence. Terrorism knows no boundaries," observes Reem Abdellatif. Meanwhile, two Air France flights from the U.S. to Paris were diverted last night because of bomb threats. For those keeping track, here's the AP's absolute latest on France, updating hourly.

So how did we even get here? NYT's Ian Fisher writes that there's been no single missed moment, but there are still many strands of blame. Colleague Jason Horowitz calls it a "Must read explanation from @fisheri of where ISIS came from, what fueled its success and where it's going." Also at the NY TimesTim Arango collects experts' visions as to how global powers can smash ISIS, but Daily Caller's Ethan Barton wonders, "With ISIS like a hydra, what's going to happen after they're squashed? Will a more brutal group take their place?" Simultaneously, however, a Times editorial cautions that mass surveillance isn’t the answer. Politico's Tony Romm summarizes, "the NYT ed board, writing on encryption, is basically like 'knock it off, brennan.'" Relatedly, meet the ISIS militant From Belgium whose own family wanted him dead. "Profile of Abaaoud pretty much in line w that of other IS recruits: thievery, drugs, sociopathy," synopsizes Amal Ghandour. Plus, Vox takes a look at Obama's biggest terrorism struggle: how to sell "Don't do stupid shit" as a strategy. 

Back in America, presidential hopeful-from-Ohio John Kasich has proposed a new government agency to promote Judeo-Christian values. "This would be helpful, I think. Christianity has really had a tough time getting its message out," quips Jordan Weissman from Slate. Also, apparently there's a Koch intelligence agency. "I mean, if I were an eccentric billionaire, I'd probably have my own spy agency too," shrugs Salon's Simon Maloy. On that note, we'd better mention that Gawker is retooling as a politics site. "Because there's such a shortage?" pointedly asks Howard Kurtz from Fox News. Worse, this rebranding comes with layoffs of the worst kind: "We’re finding out who got laid off by looking at the list of disabled Slack accounts. They’re doing it one by one instead of a group thing. Literally people getting DMed to come into a conf room. And then their Slack is killed."

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