TPM Daybreaker

April 5, 2017

Top Stories


Obamacare Repeal 2.0 Shows Republicans Have Learned Nothing

The Gist: Less than two weeks after declaring their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act “over” and vowing to move on to tax reform and other issues, Republicans are back at it, repeating the exact steps that led to the bill’s demise the first time around.

Reports: Gorsuch Used Language From Law Journal In Book Without Attribution

The Gist: Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, appears to have used language from a 1984 article in the Indiana Law Journal without attribution for his book published in 2006, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” according to reports from Buzzfeed News and Politico published late Tuesday.

McConnell: Intel Committee Should Probe Report On Rice Unmasking

The Gist: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday evening said that he had asked the Senate Intelligence Committee to look into reports that Susan Rice asked for the names of Trump associates to be unmasked in intelligence reports.

From The Reporter’s Notebook


Shortly after promising “a very major haircut on Dodd-Frank” to a roomful of CEOs Tuesday, TPM’s Matt Shuham reported, President Donald Trump repeated a claim that fact-checkers have in the past found dubious, at very best: “I have won awards on environmental protection.” Environmental consultant Chelsea Henderson, in a Washington Post op-ed in August 2016, found just one such award, awarded to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, from the Metropolitan Golf Association Foundation. However, the club was later cited for environmental violations by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Post readers later unearthed another award: Friends of Westchester County Parks, Inc.’s Green Space Award, given to Trump for his donation of 436 acres of what was once a planned golf course. That park closed in 2010, lacking maintenance funds. A White House spokesperson directed TPM to the Trump Foundation for a full list of Trump’s environmental awards. We have yet to hear back from the business.

Agree or Disagree?


John Judis: “I know some regular Republicans who are now disillusioned with Trump, but they were never that excited about him in the first place. They voted for him because he wasn’t a Democrat. J is different. He has the sensibility of the white working class voter. I don’t think he would call himself a Republican or a Democrat. Some liberals believe that all Trump voters were consumed by racism or sexism and voted accordingly, but that’s not been my experience with Trump voters. It’s also defective political psychology. Like J, many of them thought Trump would make their life better rather than other peoples’ lives worse. And maybe a lot of them, like J, have now realized that Trump is full of hot air.”

Say What?!


“False. I did not refuse to cover the story. But I did cover your sexual harassment allegations. Did you?”

– Fox New host Bill O’Reilly called out CNN anchor Don Lemon Tuesday, saying that Lemon refused to cover a story regarding former National Security Adviser Susan Rice on his program. Lemon was not having it.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive


From a TPM Prime member: “Syria is a policy nightmare. To be sure, Obama did not cover himself in glory there. However, the statement by Nikki Haley implying that removing Assad was no longer a priority of the USA and this being followed by the use of chemical weapons, probably by Assad’s government, and then the bombing of the medical facility where they were being treated seems more than coincidental. There is no good solution, but accepting Assad does not seem like one of the answers to me. Financial support to some of the organizations trying to provide medical assistance is probably a good thing, although not a solution.”

Related: Syria Chemical Attack Death Toll Now At 72, New Strikes Hit

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What We’re Reading


Trump Conspiracy Tweetstorms Are The Infowars Of The Left (Deadspin)

CNN Had a Problem. Donald Trump Solved It (The New York Times)

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April 4, 2017

Top Stories


The Supreme Court Nuclear Option Blame Game Has Begun

The Gist: Few lawmakers are happy, at least publicly, with the impending destruction of the Supreme Court filibuster in Senate. But no one can really agree on what it would have taken to avoid it.

Advertisers Pull Out Of O’Reilly’s Show Over Reports Of Sexual Harassment

The Gist: Following a report in the New York Times about allegations of sexual harassment against Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, at least two advertisers pulled ad buys from the show.

Experts Say Susan Rice Had Every Right To Request ‘Unmasking’ In Intel Reports

The Gist: A Monday Bloomberg report alleging that a former top Obama administration official requested the unmasking of U.S. persons tied to the Trump campaign who were swept up in foreign surveillance is not the “smoking gun” that the President’s backers are making it out to be.

From The Reporter’s Notebook


The Republican National Committee announced Monday that Michael Cohen, longtime attorney and ally to President Donald Trump, will join its financial team, TPM’s Allegra Kirkland reported. Cohen was a lifelong Democrat who was unable to vote for his boss in the Empire State primary because of his party affiliation. On March 9, he announced he’d finally “made the official move” to register as a Republican.

Agree or Disagree?


Josh Marshall: “Why did Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis, a junior lawyer who used to work for Chairman Nunes, call Nunes late in the evening and have him rush over to the White House to see the ‘smoking gun’ information that supposedly validated President Trump’s ‘Obama wiretapping’ tweets? Remember, this overnight cloak and dagger stunt was followed the next day by Nunes going and ‘briefing’ President Trump about the new information. So the White House briefs Nunes in the middle of the night and then Nunes returns to the White House in the morning to brief Trump? That never made sense.”

Say What?!


“So any other facts you’d like to know, @seanspicer?”

– ProPublica hit back on Monday after White House press secretary Sean Spicer dismissed its reporting on a newly surfaced detail in President Donald Trump’s trust agreement as an unsubstantiated claim from a “left-wing blog.”

BUZZING: Today in the Hive


From a TPM Prime member: “In a sense, yes, if you have a lower threshold for confirmation, you could get less competent people appointed. Reid partially eliminated the filibuster to seat qualified nominees; Trump used the post-filibuster threshold to get the Senate to confirm a number of nominees who were dubious at best, and in same cases wholly unqualified or compromised. But when it comes to the Supreme Court, as Rubin has earlier conceded, the filibuster has never actually been an issue — nominees who have lost have done so because they could not get the support of their own party, or could not get a majority vote for confirmation. Further, it makes no difference to the present debate, because if the Senate is intent on confirming an unqualified candidate in the future based upon a party line majority vote, it’s going to happen. If the Supreme Court filibuster survives to that date, it will die on that date.”

Related: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Gorsuch Nomination For SCOTUS As Dems Plan Filibuster

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What We’re Reading


In Ohio County That Backed Trump, Word of Housing Cuts Stirs Fear (The New York Times)

The Dirtbag Left’s Man in Syria (New York Magazine)

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April 3, 2017

Top Stories


Why Unified Republican Government Went Rapidly Off The Rails

The Gist: Former members of Congress, former congressional staffers, and experts tell TPM that they have never seen anything like the incompetence, distrust, and public airing of grievances that characterize the current relationship between President Trump and a Congress controlled by his own party, and say it is likely to stall the legislative agenda going forward.

Donald Trump Praises Fox News In Early Morning Tweet

The Gist: President Donald Trump was watching “Fox and Friends” on Monday morning, which he signaled by praising the show in a tweet.

Chaffetz On Exec. Branch Vacancies: Trump Has ‘No Intention’ Of Full Staffing

The Gist: The House Oversight Committee chairman said Monday that the Trump administration will likely leave many executive branch positions vacant, because “they have no intention of funding those types of things.”

From The Reporter’s Notebook


Former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told MSNBC Friday that former President Obama is “genuinely concerned” about how things are going in Washington, D.C., TPM’s Kristin Salaky reported. “There’s a sense of a lot of action and a lot of movement in Washington, D.C., but not a lot of movement forward,” Earnest said. “I think that’s a source of some concern, not just for the former president of the United States but Americans of both parties across the country.”

Agree or Disagree?


Josh Marshall: “Those are steep drops. This is the big danger for Trump – likely a much greater danger, in the short term at least, than the scandal investigations or most of the other things politicos are focusing on. Trump’s inability to repeal Obamacare is, I suspect, most of what is showing up in this drop. He simply failed to do something that, at least in numerical congressional majority terms, should have been simple. That made him seem weak and ineffectual – frankly, silly – which is what will eventually kill Trump with his base if it sets in as a consensus opinion. “

Say What?!


“You know that we didn’t take a vote. I didn’t want to take a vote. It was my idea. I said why should I take a vote.”

– President Donald Trump said in an interview published Sunday that he “didn’t want to take a vote” on the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, despite demanding one less than 24 hours before the legislation was pulled.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive


From a TPM Prime member: “The Senate cannot change its rules without a supermajority that supports the change. The ‘nuclear option’ invalidates a rule, but does not actually amend the Senate rules. In theory, the Senate could ask for a ruling that would hold its internal rules amendment process to be unconstitutional, although such a ruling would be far more attenuated and political than eliminating the filibuster for the review of Presidential appointments. Some have also suggested that each incoming Senate should have the right to adopt its own rules without regard for the prior set of rules. However, either of those approaches would have much more significant ramifications for the Senate, its order, and its ability to conduct business than the elimination of the filibuster for nomination contests — and you can count on its ultimately being used to strip the minority of any real power except to sit and watch the majority legislate. Given the power that Senators derive from the present rules, notably including the supermajority rules for cloture, such an approach would significantly reduce the influence of Senators even in the majority party; and even leaving that aside, Senators know that their party won’t hold a majority forever.”

Related: Senate Panel To Vote On Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

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What We’re Reading


The General Theory Of Relative Activeness (Esquire)

How to Drink Wine (The New York Times)

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