TPM Daybreaker

April 20, 2017

Top Stories


GOP Rep. Faces Jeers, Boos At Lengthy Town Hall In Idaho (VIDEO)

The Gist: Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Wednesday night faced a rowdy crowd in Meridian, Idaho, where he was pummeled with questions about health care and President Donald Trump.

Senate Judiciary Chair: ‘I Would Expect’ A Supreme Court Vacancy This Summer

The Gist: The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday that he expected a new vacancy to open on the Supreme Court within months.

Todd Ricketts Withdraws As Deputy Commerce Nominee

The Gist: Todd Rickets, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, has withdrawn from his nomination to be the deputy secretary of the Commerce Department.

From The Reporter’s Notebook


Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on Wednesday said that he won’t seek another term in 2018 because he “hopes to find the right balance” and is sick of sleeping in his office, TPM’s Esme Cribb reported. “I really, really like the work in Congress, I really do, but I love my family more. People may try to make it more than that, but it’s really that simple,” Chaffetz said on MSNBC. “I just turned 50. I’m sleeping on a cot in my office.”

Agree or Disagree?


Josh Marshall: “Cruz has the conservativeness of the state heavily in his favor. But he’s personally unpopular enough that he’s definitely vulnerable if he gets the right challenger and it ends up being a bad year for Republicans. Perhaps another way to put this is that Ted Cruz looks more than unpopular enough to lose reelection. But unless he’s knocked out in the primary, which doesn’t seem likely, he’d have to be knocked out by a Democrat. And partisan identification is likely to be enough to save him.”

Say What?!


“I don’t know. Coming from liberals who urge women to claim victimization, ‘Fight like a girl’ just doesn’t sound the same as when legit fighters for equality say it, mean it, live it, and will never give it up.”

– Former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin took aim at Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), accusing her of appropriating what she says is her catchphrase, “fight like a girl.”

BUZZING: Today in the Hive


From a TPM Prime member: “We are in the politics-as-pure-marketing age. The Republicans set us on this course long ago, realizing that if you can sell cr@ppy products through marketing, you can sell cr@ppy politics the same way, and have been doing it now for 40 years (even the first Reagan election was notable for its use of savvy marketing — carefully designing every photo-op). The Democrats have to hit the marketing hard and relentlessly, not wait for election season. The p*ss poor marketing the Democrats have been doing is and has been pathetic. Every now and again a gifted spokes-politician — Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — provide a temporary fix, but the stunning lack of marketing skill and effort explodes into plain view when a non-gifted marketeer is the candidate: Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, Clinton II. (And even Obama failed calamitously in marketing once he got into office. His whole first two years were a disaster from that perspective).”

Related: Marshall: My Take on Tonight’s Result in GA-6

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What We’re Reading


The 100 Most Influential People (Time)

The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black (The Stranger)

Read More →

April 19, 2017

Top Stories


At Rowdy Congressional Town Halls, Trump’s Military Moves Fly Way Under The Radar

The Gist: Over Congress’ spring recess, the news of the U.S. military launching missiles at Syria, dropping a powerful bomb in Afghanistan and escalating hostilities with North Korea has dominated headlines and blanketed the airwaves. Yet inside the rowdy town halls held by members of Congress across the country over the last two weeks, discussion about foreign policy and military action has flown under the radar as constituents largely focused on health care, the federal budget, the Supreme Court, the President’s missing tax returns, and other domestic concerns.

Ossoff Wins Plurality In Georgia Special Election, Teeing Up Runoff With GOPer

The Gist: Jon Ossoff led the 18-candidate pack in Tuesday’s special election to fill an open U.S. House seat in Georgia, but he came just short of clearing the 50 percent hurdle to win the seat outright and will now compete in a June runoff election against Republican Karen Handel.

GOP Sen. Lankford Says Trump Should Release His Tax Returns

The Gist: During a town hall in Claremore, Oklahoma, on Tuesday, Sen. James Lankford said that President Donald Trump should release his tax returns, according to the Tulsa World.

From The Reporter’s Notebook


Attorney General Jeff Sessions yet again decried the consent decrees favored by the Obama-era Justice Department on Monday, vowing to free local police forces from what he characterized as federal handcuffs, TPM’s Matt Shuham reported. “[T]oo much focus has been placed on a small number of police who are bad actors rather than on criminals,” he wrote. “And too many people believe the solution is to impose consent decrees that discourage the proactive policing that keeps our cities safe.”

Agree or Disagree?


Josh Marshall: “The way you win Congress is that you contest every race. You learn from each contest, win or lose. You refine the strategy and message and go back again. (I spoke to a very experienced Dem consultant about a month ago who didn’t think Ossoff had any chance in this race. He was wrong.) We don’t know where the country will be in 18 months. But to the extent you can draw a line between tonight and election day 2018, the results of this race and the Kansas race taken together point to a anti-GOP wave election in 2018. “

Say What?!


“Bill O’Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons.”

– Amid reports Tuesday night that executives at Fox are discussing cutting ties with Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News host’s lawyer issued a statement claiming that O’Reilly is the the victim of a “smear campaign” from the “far-left.”

BUZZING: Today in the Hive


From a TPM Prime member: “Republicans control the federal government. Republicans occupy 33 governor’s mansions. Republicans control both legislative chambers in 32 states, while Democrats now have total control of just California, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon and Rhode Island. Democrats have to look to the future. Ossoff is 29 years old. Whip smart. Telegenic. Idealistic. Yes, he’ll probably lose to Karen Handel (the infamous Karen Handel, author of Planned Bullyhood and all-around numbskull) or another Republican. But we’re not going to get where we need to go as progressives if we don’t commit to putting the best, most promising candidates on the ballot. No more rubber stamps for either agenda, progressive or reactionary — if our elected officials don’t have the chops to deal with this complex and dangerous world, then it’s game over for us.”

Related: De Blasio Releases Tax Returns, Challenges Trump To Do The Same

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What We’re Reading


How Office Culture Can Crush Women’s Ambitions (The Atlantic)

It was an honor to know you, Joe Crowley (The Boston Globe)

Read More →

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<div style=”color: black;font-family: helvetica;font-size: 18px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;”><div style=”text-align: center;font-family: helvetica;color: black;font-size: 18px;line-height: 150%;”><span style=”color:#808080″>April 18, 2017</span></div>
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<div style=”color: black;font-family: helvetica;font-size: 18px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;”><strong style=”color:rgb(32, 32, 32); font-size:22px; font-weight:bold; line-height:22px”>Top Stories</strong>

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<p><a href=”http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/obamacare-repeal-fail-recess-republicans” style=”color: rgb(153, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none;” target=”_blank”><span style=”font-size:20px”>On Recess, GOPers Rehash Their O’Care Repeal Fail: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly </span></a></p>

<p><strong style=”line-height:24.0000019073486px”>The Gist: </strong>Congressional Republicans are about halfway through a hellish two-week recess, their first since their unpopular Obamacare repeal bill was disastrously pulled from the House floor.</p>

<p><a href=”http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-ossoff-tweets-georgia” style=”color: rgb(153, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none;” target=”_blank”><span style=”font-size:20px”>Trump Goes All In On Georgia Special Election With Robocall, Fiery Tweets </span></a></p>

<p><strong style=”line-height:24.0000019073486px”>The Gist: </strong>As Tuesday’s special election to fill an open House seat in Georgia drew closer, President Donald Trump upped his attacks on Jon Ossoff, the Democratic candidate leading the race.</p>

<p><a href=”http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/two-plaintiffs-join-crew-lawsuit-trump-emoluments-clause” style=”color: rgb(153, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none;” target=”_blank”><span style=”font-size:20px”>Two More Plaintiffs Join Lawsuit Alleging Trump Is Violating The Constitution</span></a></p>

<p><strong style=”line-height:24.0000019073486px”>The Gist: </strong>Two plaintiffs on Monday joined a federal lawsuit alleging that President Donald Trump is in breach of the Constitution by continuing to host foreign governments at his resorts while in the Oval Office, according to the Washington Post.”</p>
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<br><div style=”color: black;font-family: helvetica;font-size: 18px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;”><strong style=”color:rgb(32, 32, 32); font-size:22px; font-weight:bold; line-height:22px”>From The Reporter’s Notebook</strong>

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<p style=”text-align: left;”>An Oregon man named Michael Elliott apparently died at peace on April 6 after his “ex-wife and best friend” told him a little white lie: that President Donald Trump had been impeached,” TPM’s Kristin Salaky reported. “The last thing she said to him was ‘Donald Trump has been impeached.’” <a href=”http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obit-man-died-trump-impeached” target=”_blank” style=”color: #990000;font-weight: bold;text-decoration: none;”>the obituary reads</a>. “Upon hearing that he took his final, gentle breath, his earthly work concluded.”</p>
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<p>Josh Marshall: “But it’s a simple fact that Google is a big, big, big part of the early 21st century monopoly capitalism story. A huge amount of Google’s value is derived from siphoning value from the creative work or productivity of others and making that into profit for Google. To a degree this is in the nature of most disintermediation and a lot of capitalism. One woman’s siphoning value is another’s creating value. <a href=”http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/how-google-crushed-one-small-publisher” target=”_blank” style=”color: #990000;font-weight: bold;text-decoration: none;”>It’s complicated</a>. The key though is that Google enforces its actions with an almost unprecedented monopoly power. I’m not sure I know the solution to that. We may even be better off on balance. But we should recognize that it is a fact.”</p>
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<div style=”color: black;font-family: helvetica;font-size: 18px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;”><strong style=”color:rgb(32, 32, 32); font-size:22px; font-weight:bold; line-height:22px”>Say What?!</strong>

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<p><span class=”say-paragraph” style=”font-size: 20px;font-style: italic;color: black;”>”You look at different things over the years with President Obama. Everybody has been outplayed, they’ve all been outplayed by this gentleman. And we’ll see what happens. But I just don’t telegraph my moves.”</span></p>

<p style=”font-size:16px”><span style=”font-size:18px”>- President Donald Trump <a href=”http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-well-see-north-korea-strike” target=”_blank” style=”color: #990000;font-weight: bold;text-decoration: none;”>wouldn’t say whether he had ruled out a military strike against North Korea</a> on Monday, saying only “we’ll see what happens.” </span></p>
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<p><strong>From a TPM Prime member: </strong><em>”Many criticize Comey and the Obama Admin for slowness on moving on Putin’s interference in our election. I am less critical when I see what they confronted. All is murk in the world in which Trump lives. One reason that I expect that we will catch him is that there are so many strands of corruption and I expect that one or more of them will leave a record. However, the many strands make the early look extremely confusing. McConnell threatened that he would politicize any attempt to let the people know about Trump ties to our enemy. Until the very end, it looked as if Clinton would win, so it was easy to worry that more publicity about this attack would make it harder for her to govern. This situation is similar to what we now know was Nixon’s treason in asking the South Vietnamese to ‘hold off’ on a peace agreement. We knew that the South Vietnamese had been asked on Nixon’s behalf, it is only recently that we learned that Nixon personally ordered the treason (Haldeman took notes). The tapes show that LBJ knew of the treason but did not have evidence to pin it on Nixon. LBJ did not reveal it and the rest is history, and the wasted deaths of another 20,000 Americans. This was infinitely less complicated and confusing malfeasance.”</em></p>

<p><strong>Related: </strong>Dem Rep.: Kushner <a href=”http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/nadler-kushner-intentionally-ommitted” target=”_blank” style=”color: #990000;font-weight: bold;text-decoration: none;”>’Intentionally Omitted’ Meetings With Russians</a></p>

<p><strong>Have something to add?</strong> Become a <a href=”http://talkingpointsmemo.com/prime” target=”_blank” style=”color: #990000;font-weight: bold;text-decoration: none;”>Prime</a> member and join the discussion <a href=”https://forums.talkingpointsmemo.com/t/thoughts-on-joshs-latest-russiagate-analysis/54385/6″ target=”_blank” style=”color: #990000;font-weight: bold;text-decoration: none;”>here</a>.</p>
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<div style=”color: black;font-family: helvetica;font-size: 18px;line-height: 150%;text-align: left;”><strong style=”color:rgb(32, 32, 32); font-size:22px; font-weight:bold; line-height:22px”>What We’re Reading</strong>

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<p>Meet The Actor With A Disability Who Is Helping To Transform A Classic Play (<em><a href=”https://www.buzzfeed.com/louispeitzman/how-an-actor-with-a-disability-is-helping-to-transform-a?utm_term=.wpjErxBm5#.gvpXL7vOl” target=”_blank” style=”color: #990000;font-weight: bold;text-decoration: none;”>BuzzFeed</a></em>)</p>

<p>Ten Horrifying Deep Sea Creatures, Ranked (<em><a href=”http://gizmodo.com/ten-horrifying-deep-sea-creatures-ranked-1793622424″ target=”_blank” style=”color: #990000;font-weight: bold;text-decoration: none;”>Gizmodo</a></em>)</p>
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<!–<div mc:edit=”std_content08″>*|GROUP:A|*<strong style=”color:rgb(32, 32, 32); font-size:22px; font-weight:bold; line-height:22px”>From Around The Web</strong>

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April 17, 2017

Top Stories


GOP’s New Health Care Rallying Cry: Remember The Maine!

The Gist: Just before fleeing Washington for the April recess, Republicans unveiled a new amendment they said would revive their struggling bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act—a policy based on a program in Maine that aims to bring down health insurance premiums by funneling older and sicker people into a separate individual market subsidized by the federal government.

Trump Blasts ‘Fake Media,’ Praises Fox News In Early Morning Tweetstorm

The Gist: Nearly three months into his presidency, and President Donald Trump appears to still sit alone in the morning with Twitter while watching the news.

GOP Rep. On Gutting Internet Privacy Rule: ‘Nobody’s Got To Use The Internet’ (VIDEO)

The Gist: During a town hall event last week, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) tried to defend Republican legislation rolling back an Internet privacy rule by arguing that Americans don’t have to use the Internet.

From The Reporter’s Notebook


Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) faced tough questions on Saturday at a breakfast event with local chambers of commerce, which are typically friendly territory for Republicans, TPM’s Caitlin MacNeal reported. Members of the audience repeatedly interrupted Rokita as he tried to answer questions, prompting the congressman to ask the crowd to be civil, the Journal-Review reported. The congressman also addressed House Republicans’ failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, arguing that Republicans need to take their time replacing the law.

Agree or Disagree?


Josh Marshall: “What is endearing, terrifying and hilarious about Trump is not simply his ignorance, really his militant ignorance, but his complete lack of self-awareness about his ignorance. Trump told a reporter for The Wall Street Journal that his understanding of the problem of North Korea changed dramatically after hearing ten minutes of history from the President of China. Needless to say, Trump didn’t need to admit this. But neither was it candor.”

Say What?!


“Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over”

– President Donald Trump says “someone should look into who paid” for the rallies around the country Saturday that urged him to release his tax returns.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive


From a TPM Prime member: “Another part of this is to take the long view. Those Trump votes didn’t get this way overnight, they got there over the course of (at least) 50 years of well-funded continual right-wing propaganda. In my aunt’s house, Fox news was just always on in the background. At our former vet’s office, Limbaugh was always there on the radio. Watch and listen to people like that day and day after years after year, and they start sounding perfectly reasonable. One discussion or two or ten, even with the best-marshalled facts and logic, won’t do it. This is Gandhi and Mandela-style timescales. (Not that I’m any more patient than anyone else in practice.)”

Related: 20 Arrested After Violence Breaks Out At Berkeley Pro And Anti-Trump Rallies

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What We’re Reading


It’s Not Enough to Dismiss Islamophobia (The Atlantic)

This Is What It’s Like To Have An Illness You Can’t Beat (BuzzFeed)

Read More →

April 13, 2017

Top Stories


GOP Rep. Grilled At Town Hall Over Support For House O’Care Replacement

The Gist: Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) faced a raucous crowd at a town hall in Aurora, Colorado, on Wednesday night, where constituents grilled him on his support for the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Multiple Sanitation Violations Found At Mar-A-Lago Kitchen

The Gist: APresident Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Club, known in his administration as the “Winter White House” or “Southern White House,” was cited for a number of sanitation violations in a January inspection.

Social Security Advocates Sound The Alarm About The Latest Trump Tax Plan

The Gist: Following reports that President Donald Trump is dumping the tax plan he campaigned on and exploring a host of other options, advocates for Social Security are sounding the alarm, pointing to a proposal to eliminate the program’s primary source of funding: payroll taxes.

From The Reporter’s Notebook


Riffing off The Washington Post’s new slogan, “Democracy Dies In Darkness,” journalist Michael Wolff asked President Donald Trump’s senior counselor Kellyanne Conway if she takes personally the fact that she is “the darkness,” TPM’s Kristin Salaky reported. “This coverage of you this ‘Democracy Dies In Darkness’ because I’m gonna tell you, when they say ‘Democracy Dies In Darkness’ you’re the darkness,” Wolff said to cheers from the crowd at the Newseum. “I’m not the darkness,” Conway shot back.

Agree or Disagree?


Josh Marshall: “Setting aside the moral calculus (where there’s little reason to have high expectations), what’s striking is the political calculus, or rather Trump’s inability to grasp the current political calculus. The upshot of the repeal debacle was that Republicans realized that they would take a big political hit if people lost what they’d gained under Obamacare. Everybody focused on the so-called ‘Freedom Caucus’. The truth is that it was really GOP moderates who killed repeal – certainly when you figure in both the House and the Senate. In many cases, these weren’t really moderates. They were folks like Sen. Tom Cotton, pretty diehard conservatives, who were nonetheless opposing the repeal bill from the left. “

Say What?!


“And if Hitler had won, should the world just get over it? Lincoln was the same sort if (sic) tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional.”

– A state Republican lawmaker in North Carolina on Wednesday called President Abraham Lincoln a “tyrant,” comparing him to Adolf Hitler.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive


From a TPM Prime member: “The arguments about national sovereignty are akin to those of states rights in many ways. A bloody civil war was fought in the USA to more or less settle that issue. Yes, conservatives still claim to be keen on states rights but they have demonstrated many times they are willing to ride roughshod over states rights to enforce their point of view if they have the Federal power to do so, therefore I consider the issue more or less settled. Internationally there are a few accords such as the Geneva convention with weak enforcement mechanisms. I consider it acceptable that the USA said that chemical weapons violated international agreements and took action – I do sincerely hope that it is a deterrent and that it was not an action that was premature and hit the wrong party. There are a few other examples where ‘moral authority’ is exerted by international agreements. An example is that WHO has the right to name and therefore shame countries that do not report public health events of international significance, i.e. disease outbreaks, chemical spills, etc. WHO does not have a police force to go in and enforce public health law, but failure to report can lead to name and shame and that has such strong potential adverse effects on things like trade and tourism that most countries cooperate. Weak tea as they say, but something. That was why I feel the EU is so important as a multinational body with some teeth, although due to nationalism it has a serious democratic deficit. It is all the old argument that the nation state is too big for the small problems and too small for the big problems. But, it is not an easy path to global governance. I do not know if we will make it there while there is still something left to govern. “

Related: Trump Reverses His Position On NATO, China, Russia And More

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What We’re Reading


TV viewers have been sending ‘fake news’ complaints to the FCC (Columbia Journalism Review)

Why Drag Queens Are Imitating Kellyanne and Melania—but Not Ivanka (Broadly)

Read More →

April 12, 2017

Top Stories


The GOP’s Existential Crisis: If They Can’t Pass Tax Cuts, What Can They Do?

The Gist: As Republicans turn their attentions from their failed health care overhaul to rewriting the tax code, the road ahead is anything but smooth. Even with control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, many political and fiscal obstacles could derail efforts to slash tax rates for the wealthy and corporations.

Report: GOP, Dem Lawmakers Say Intel Reports Don’t Back Up Nunes Claims

The Gist: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the classified intelligence reports that House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) explosively surfaced in March press conference show no evidence that the Obama administration improperly surveilled the Trump transition team, CNN reported Wednesday.

Trump Dodges When Asked If He Has Confidence In Steve Bannon

The Gist: President Donald Trump would not say whether he has confidence in Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon, who was recently removed from his spot on the National Security Council’s Principals Committee.

From The Reporter’s Notebook


The Daily Mail agreed to pay damages to first lady Melania Trump Tuesday in her defamation suit following a story the publication ran that alleged Trump may have worked as an escort, TPM’s Kristin Salaky reported. The publication retracted the story and apologized in a statement. “We accept that these allegations about Mrs Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them,” the statement read. “We apologize to Mrs Trump for any distress that our publication caused her.”

Agree or Disagree?


Josh Marshall: “This White House has the unique feature of both having a number of high profile Jewish appointees and an uncharacteristically large number of notoriously anti-Semitic appointees. That only adds to Spicer’s problems, though I think Spicer is one of the relatively few non-Jewish and non-anti-Semitic appointees. The biggest story here isn’t that Spicer is an anti-Semite (not remotely) or even insensitive. It’s just that he’s not remotely competent and in fairness has to speak for an administration that constantly changes policy and frequently lies. It would be a hard job for anyone and he’s clearly not up to it in any case.”

Say What?!


“On Passover no less, Sean Spicer has engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death.”

– The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect on Tuesday called for President Donald Trump to fire White House press secretary Sean Spicer “at once” for his comments about Adolf Hitler and chemical weapons.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive


From a TPM Prime member: “I wish everyone would stop using the word “overbooking” when discussing this incident. Overbooking had nothing to do with it. Overbooking policies had nothing to do with it. There was no second passenger holding a paid ticket for the same seat, who might have had a legal claim to be accommodated. This was United deciding at the last minute to bump some passengers in order to move their own personnel. This was United failing to handle their own internal logistics properly, and forcing the customers to pay the price for United’s own failure. It’s true that the Police are solely responsible for beating the crap out of the guy, but everything else up to that moment is entirely United’s fault, for which they have no excuse whatsoever.”

Related: United Airlines Pledges To Review Policies On Removal Of Passengers

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What We’re Reading


How I Discovered That My Dad Is a Right-Wing Conspiracy Theorist (Lenny Letter)

How to Know If You’ve Sent a Horrible Tweet (Esquire)

Read More →

April 11, 2017

Top Stories


Alabama Luv Guv’s Impeachment Probe Reveals Political Motivation Behind DMV Closures

The Gist: The impeachment investigation that led to Alabama’s Republican Gov. Robert Bentley’s resignation, arrest and conviction Monday surfaced more than just the alleged misuse of public funds to hide his affair with a top political aide, the cringe-y texts to his paramour, and the threats lobbed towards those who stood ready to expose their tryst.

GOP Rep.: We Need ‘Change In Direction’ From Ryan Or ‘New Speaker’

The Gist: Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Monday said that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) either needs to make changes or step down from his role leading the Republican caucus.

Poll: Sanders Is Most Popular Senator Among Constituents; McConnell Is Least

The Gist: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the most popular senator among his constituents in the country, according to a poll released Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the least popular.

From The Reporter’s Notebook


Republicans are making a last-ditch effort to maintain the House seat in Kansas vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, with President Donald Trump recording a robocall for the Republican candidate, state treasurer Ron Estes, TPM’s Caitlin MacNeal reported. Trump recorded a robocall supporting Estes, which went out to “tens of thousands,” according to the Kansas Republican Party. “On Tuesday, Republican Ron Estes needs your vote and needs it badly. Ron is a conservative leader who’s going to work with me to make America great again,” Trump says on the call.

Agree or Disagree?


Josh Marshall: “Remember that Manafort was first brought on board not as campaign manager but – notionally – to manage the delegate hunt and wrangling in the lead up to the GOP convention and at the convention itself. It later became clear that he served as de facto campaign manager pretty much from the start when he came on board in March 2016. On its face, this delegate wrangling role had a certain logic to it since Manafort had been involved in wrangling delegates at the semi-contested 1976 GOP convention in which incumbent Gerald Ford saw off a challenge from Ronald Reagan. It was commonly said that Manafort was the only GOP player with experience at a contested convention – thus making him a key asset for Trump, who looked likely to face just such a challenge in Cleveland.”

Say What?!


“He is all over me to run again. My leadership in the Republican Senate are all over me to run again. The House leadership, some of those want me to run again.” “

– Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Monday said that he plans to run for another term and has President Donald Trump’s support in doing so, though Hatch previously said that he would consider retiring if Mitt Romney ran for his seat.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive


From a TPM Prime member: “With the battle now over, the Republican antics that denied a confirmation vote to Judge Garland seem likely to have far greater ripple effects than the end of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations. The Republican contempt for Senate traditions, and for that matter the basic principles of good faith conduct upon which the Constitution and constitutional democracy in general depend, will likely carry us into an era in which no Supreme Court vacancy will be filled unless the party that controls the Senate also controls the White House. The Senate could fix that issue, in-house, by creating and following new rules for the confirmation process, but it does not seem likely that the Senate will make any attempt to do so, nor is there any reason to be confident that the Senate will follow its own rules in the future. The other solution would be a constitutional amendment, although it seems like a very distant long-shot to get the 2/3 majority votes in the House and Senate to put time constraints on the process. Ratification by the states presents its own set of problems, but I suspect that it would be the easier part of the equation.”

Related: At Gorsuch Swearing-In, Trump Thanks McConnell ‘For All That He Did’

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What We’re Reading


Romney’s binders, still full of women, are unearthed (The Boston Globe)

Lessons From the ‘Red Line’ Crisis (The Atlantic)

Read More →

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