January 12, 2017

Top Stories

STILL NOT NORMAL: Why Trump's Presser Was So Jarring

The Gist: Two months after winning the White House in a historic upset and nine days out from Inauguration Day, Trump appeared no closer to adhering to the norms that have traditionally regulated the office he is poised to assume.

Senate Takes Major Step Toward Repealing Obamacare

The Gist: The Senate early Thursday passed a measure to take the first step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law, responding to pressure to move quickly even as Republicans and President-elect Trump grapple with what to replace it with.

Chuck Schumer Says He Will Oppose Jeff Sessions For Attorney General

The Gist: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced Thursday that he will vote against Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) confirmation to Attorney General. In a statement released early Thursday morning, the top Democrat said he was concerned that Sessions would not act as an appropriate check on President-elect Donald Trump.

From The Reporter's Notebook

Following the publication of a dossier containing explosive and unverified info on Donald Trump and Russia, BBC News reported Wednesday that it originated in opposition research done by a former British intelligence officer working for a Super PAC supporting none other than Jeb Bush. But, a lawyer for the PAC told TPM it "had nothing to do with British Intelligence officers," TPM's Kristin Salaky reported. "Right to Rise categorically denies the BBC reporter's made up report and will be demanding that he retract the made up allegation," Charlie Spies, an attorney for Right to Rise USA, which had supported Bush's presidential candidacy, wrote in an email.

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "The big takeaway here is that Trump is setting up a 'trust' which will hold all his assets. But those assets will still remain part of the Trump Organization. The Trump Organization will be run by Don, Eric and a Trump Organization executive. There will also be an ethics advisor who is part of an executive committee. The Trump Organization will not make any new foreign 'deals'; it will make domestic deals. The key issue here is that Trump is not divesting himself of any of his assets. And they will be managed by his family. Fundamentally, all the incentives to curry favor with Trump's companies still exist. Also, no new foreign 'deals' is a meaningless term"

Say What?!

"It's really about political power and racial division and what I've referred to on occasion as the 'war on whites. They are trying to motivate the African-American vote to vote-bloc for Democrats by using every 'Republican is a racist' tool that they can envision, even if they have to lie about it."

- Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said Tuesday that the close scrutiny of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general was in part due to a “war on whites.”

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "We (progressives) often talk about how you can't alter the ACA because of the 3-legged stool - and it is true that to work, you have to have all three legs - but this is built on the presumption that you want or care about it actually working. The GOP does not - they will not care until each individually is facing a medical bankruptcy and the consequences of lack of care. The high-profit doctors (Tom Price is a perfect example straight from central casting) and their practices, treatment/care centers and hospitals (whether for- or non- profit), and the supply chain (device makers, pharma) do not really care if a large portion of the public doesn't get treatment. A very large portion of the public who have (often quite good) coverage as part of their employment compensation do not really care that others do not have care: it's either FYIGM or "I earned and deserve good health". At best, I think, for a lot of these people, the best you could hope for is that they see something like the ACA as a form of enlightened self-interest."

Related: Key GOP Chair Is Slowly Getting His Way On Obamacare

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What We're Reading

Peter Thiel, Trump’s Tech Pal, Explains Himself (The New York Times)

The Rise of Emo Nostalgia (The New Yorker)