January 17, 2017

Top Stories

The Problem With Paul Ryan's Go-To Obamacare Replacement Idea? Money

The Gist: As concerns escalate over the GOP’s plans to repeal Obamacare, and what it means for the millions with pre-existing conditions whose coverage has been guaranteed by the law, Republicans have pointed to so-called high-risk pools, as if they were magic bullet of sorts for covering seriously sick individuals. However, using high-risk pools as a substitute for the Affordable Care Act would cost a boatload of money, health care policy experts tell TPM.

Trump Says The Approval Ratings Polls Are Rigged!

The Gist: After several polls showed Donald Trump receiving historically low approval ratings, the President-elect bashed the polls on Twitter, declaring them "rigged."

McCain Says He's Leaning Toward Backing Rex Tillerson

The Gist: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), one of a few Republican senators who seemed hesitant to back Donald Trump's choice to lead the State Department, Rex Tillerson, said on Monday evening that he may vote for the nominee.

From The Reporter's Notebook

The B-Street Band, a Bruce Springsteen cover group, has dropped a commitment to play at New Jersey’s inaugural gala in Washington this week, following public pressure, TPM's Matt Shuham wrote. "We felt that we had to make it known that we didn't want to seem disrespectful, in any way, shape or form, to Bruce and his music and his band," band leader Will Forte told Rolling Stone in an interview published Monday.

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "Trump wants to bully the press and profit off the presidency. He's told us this clearly in his own words. We need to accept the reality of both. The press should cover him on that basis, as a coward and a crook. The big corporate media organizations may not be able to use those words, I understand, but they should employ that prism. The truth is that his threats against the press to date are ones it is best to laugh at. If Trump should take some un- or extra-constitutional actions, we will deal with that when it happens. I doubt he will or can. But I won't obsess about it in advance. Journalists should be unbowed and aggressive and with a sense of humor until something happens to prevent them from doing so. Trump is a punk and a bully. People who don't surrender up their dignity to him unhinge him."

Say What?!

"John Lewis is a racist pig. There ain’t political pundit that didn’t say on November 9 that this would be Demonrats’ EXACT response to Trump winning."

- A member of the board of commissioners in Gwinnett County, Georgia called civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) a “racist pig” in a Facebook post after Lewis said he didn't consider President-elect Donald Trump to be a "legitimate" president.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "I’m not advocating for 'fear/hatred of the other'. What I’m getting at is that there are fundamental ways in which people think about how their votes either matter or don’t matter, and the GOP has figured out a way to get their voters to understand that their vote matters even if they don’t like their candidate very much, and that they need to go out and vote at every single goddamned election. We have clearly not done that, and the result is that the GOP has a built-in floor to the presidential vote that they can rely on, control of most state governments which provides them with a very deep bench and control of the HOR, and control of the judicial branch of government. They have the power, we do not. Whoever has power has the ability to enact an agenda and thwart the other’s agenda. Their side understands this, ours does not. We think if we just find another FDR, JFK, or Obama, they will enact an agenda through the bully pulpit and executive fiat."

Related: Priebus claims GOPers never questioned Obama's legitimacy as President

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What We're Reading

Dylann Roof Is An American Problem (BuzzFeed)

My year with Amy Winehouse (Salon)