March 3, 2017

Top Stories

5 Points On The Tax Credit Debate Roiling The GOP’s Obamacare Repeal Effort

The Gist: The closer that Republicans get to settling on a Obamacare repeal plan, the uglier the intra-party fighting gets, with the latest round being over the types of tax credits lawmakers offer as an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

Trump Blasts Focus On Sessions' Russian Contacts: It's A 'Witch Hunt!'

The Gist: After Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday said he would recuse himself from any probe into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, President Donald Trump issued a statement dismissing the attention paid to Sessions' meetings with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 campaign.

Mike Pence Used Personal Email To Conduct Indiana Business

The Gist: Vice President Mike Pence used a personal email account to conduct official business while he served as the governor of Indiana, the Indianapolis Star reported Thursday evening.

From The Reporter's Notebook

Attorney General Jeff Sessions described one of two meetings he had during the presidential campaign with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak as being about “just normal things,” like “the Ukraine," TPM's Matt Shuham reported. “Well, it was just normal things,” Sessions said of the meeting’s content, “such as I started off by saying – I don't remember a lot of it, but I do remember saying I had gone to Russia with a church group in 1991, and he said he was not a believer himself, but he was glad to have church people come there.”

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "Whatever US law enforcement and intelligence knew about the specifics of Trump's relationship with and his dependence on investment capital out of Russia and the former Soviet Union, material like this in public court filings surely would have raised red flags about Trump's businesses. As long as Donald Trump was just a high-profile and frequently clownish real estate tycoon from New York and the star of The Apprentice, this probably didn't matter very much. After all, as I've noted, there's no specific evidence that Trump was involved in any of Sater's criminal activity."

Say What?!

"You know the cleansing that the Orientals used to do where you’d put one person out in front and 900 people yell at them? That’s not what we need."

- Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) said on Thursday that he used "a poor choice of words" when he used this comparison when talking about holding town halls.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "While I believe deficits don't matter, I do believe what it is spent on does. Tax cuts leave extra currency in the system, but as we have had a front row seat, we can see that currency never made it into the economy for everyone because those cuts for the top tiers stay within the top tiers. That they are job creators is myth promoted only to keep cutting. Tax cuts in a downturn for the lower tiers have more umph, but still not as much as direct government spending. There is no 'crowding out' What Trump wants to do is let the government bear all the costs of infrastructure up front through tax incentives so private companies will build/fix infrastructure. Problem with that, however, is that they will then OWN IT. Talk to any city thats been through this and you will see what a horrid disaster it is. If we pay upfront through loss of revenue, why not just pay for it, own it, and have job protections and safeguards the Private sector abhors."

Related: Tax Credits Inflame Internal Fight Over Leaked GOP Obamacare Repeal Draft

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What We're Reading

Ivanka Trump And The Aesthetics Of Denial (BuzzFeed)

Chimamanda Adichie on What Americans Get Wrong About Africa (The Atlantic)