February 28, 2017

Top Stories

Are Republicans Ready To Charge Ahead On Obamacare Repeal?

The Gist: The movement to repeal the Affordable Care Act appears to be approaching a do-or-die moment for Republicans, as the clock ticks on dismantling Obamacare in time to also tackle tax reform before Congress's summer recess. Many of the differences that dogged Republicans about repealing and replacing the law remain. But GOP lawmakers, particularly in the House, seem intent on moving forward, if a leaked a draft of legislation is of any judge.

Trump Says Obama And His Loyalists Are Behind Town Hall Protests, Leaks

The Gist: During an interview taped Monday for "Fox and Friends," President Donald Trump said that former President Barack Obama is behind protests at Republican town halls and that Obama loyalists are also behind leaks from the Trump administration.

Bush On Country Under Trump: I Don't Like The 'Racism' And 'Name-Calling'

The Gist: Former President George W. Bush is a little disheartened by the state of the country under President Donald Trump, but the former President said he is still "optimistic" about the future of the United States.

From The Reporter's Notebook

One of the largest anti-Islam groups in the U.S., ACT! For America, fired its San Antonio chapter leader for organizing a meeting for locals to learn how to “shut down mosques.” As TPM’s Allegra Kirkland reports, the group is no stranger to inflammatory proposals and rhetoric. ACT founder Brigitte Gabriel once claimed that “Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim."

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "We are of course seeing arguments now about whether this outbreak of anti-Semitic agitation is tied to Donald Trump. I see little point in actually participating in this argument. Republicans and Trump supporters who deny the connection don't really believe what they are saying. It is obvious that they are connected. We've never seen anything like this in decades. Are the KKK and anti-Semitic white nationalist groups really just confused when they say that Trump is the best thing that has happened to their groups in decades? Are we supposed to ignore that the President's top advisor has clear ties to all of these groups and has spent years bringing them to greater prominence?"

Say What?!

"HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality. Their success has shown that more options help students flourish."

- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Monday night released a statement suggesting that historically black colleges were the product of a "school choice" movement, prompting swift backlash on Twitter and from Democratic lawmakers.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "Let's talk about the law for minute , because the new White House Counsel is definitely not a First Amendment attorney. Regulation of First Amendment activities , with the vague exception of pornography, cannot be content-based. You can constitutionally apply a limit on protesters blocking freeways in California , because it is a reasonable time and place regulation that is neutral as to the content of the protests. This is applied with special vigor to restraints placed on the press. I don't think there can be any doubt that the White House is making decisions about who and who does not get into White House Press Conferences solely on the basis of content. Breitbart good. New York Times bad. The remedy is either to stop holding press conferences at all stop applying the policy under a permanent injunction. In the 1960s and 1970s , there were calls by Republican politicians for dealing with nasty protesters. The flag desecration cases should have straighten all of that out. we are apparently going to have to relitigate a lot of this ground . I don't have any doubts that the federal courts will come down like a ton of bricks on any and all content -based policies and legislation or regulation of the press. Even Neil Gorsuch will be a no vote. If you are worried about protests becoming violent, provide better security and protection for both sides. if a congressman is worried about a constituent punching him in the nose at a Town Hall meeting, the remedy is a rule prohibiting constituents from punching congressmen in the nose at such meetings and/or a suit for battery against any constituent who actually punches him in the nose. "

Related: Obama's WH Photographer Takes Another Jab At Trump Admin On Instagram

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What We're Reading

I Did Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Workout. It Nearly Broke Me. (159KB) (Politico)

After 130 Years, Harvard Law Review Elects a Black Woman President (The New York Times)