December 12, 2016

Top Stories

Will Red State Senate Dems Cave To Pressure To Replace Obamacare?

The Gist: While incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been emphatic that Democrats won't be helping Republicans pick up the pieces after Obamacare repeal, red state Senate Democrats are the ones who will decide the ultimate fate of Republicans' repeal gamble.

Trump Says He Doesn't Need Daily Intelligence Briefings: I'm 'Smart'

The Gist: In an interview that aired Sunday, Donald Trump acknowledged that he doesn't receive intelligence briefings every day, arguing that he's "smart" enough to only receive them occasionally.

Rand Paul Opposes John Bolton As No. 2 State Department Pick

The Gist: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a critic of former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, said on Sunday that he would oppose Bolton's nomination as the No. 2 leader in the State Department.

From The Reporter's Notebook

In an odd statement, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced Friday that Rudy Giuliani took his name out of the running to be secretary of state back on Nov. 29, TPM's Matt Shuham reported. “President-elect Donald J. Trump announced today that during a meeting with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani held on November 29, 2016, Mayor Giuliani removed his name from consideration for a position in the new administration," it read in part.

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "This is not surprising. During the campaign and even in the exit polls, a large number of his own supporters thought Trump was unfit to be president. He won with 46% of the vote and even a substantial number of supporters had a deeply negative view of him. 41/40 is sort of respectable by that measure. But it all adds to the mammoth instability of the moment. You have a president-elect breaking at every turn elements of long established practice, upending alliances and diplomatic understandings which have undergirded peace in different parts of the world for decades. He's picking a cabinet made of plutocrats campaign donors, a few conventional rightwing nominees and appointees but lots of people who are manifestly unqualified for their posts. And all this comes with public approval ratings which would be near the danger zone at any point in a president's term."

Say What?!

"I passed a line and I said, 'what's happening over there?' I thought it was a big movie. They said, 'no, sir, that's voting. They're voting,' and they're voting like really early. And we have to discuss that early thing. That's sort of — so many things are going on. So many things. Wonder what happens during the evening when those places are 'locked', right?"

- In what was supposed to be a stump speech for Republican Louisiana Senate candidate John Kennedy in Baton Rouge Friday, Trump took aim at early voting during the presidential election

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "I'm not saying let's pretend this will be easy. Say: JOBS and they appear. But I think the Dems need to get out front on this. And be loud and visionary. As UBI is not likely, JOBS seems more realistic. Josh notes that Trump is incredibly unpopular compared with other incoming Ps. This is good news. Despite appearances, people are listening. Dems should be doing anything and everything to get ideas in the air. Get concern in the air. Put together some kind of regional outreach, get very focused on media presence, and present unified, vocal opposition to R agenda. Address something specific -- like new energy jobs. In a few weeks, all we will hear is Ryan and McConnell droning on about bankrupt SS and Medicare. This is a chance to both counter that and to open bigger doors. Imagine if HRC had said more about specific programs she'd champion (wind farms, solar industry jobs) rather thsn just 'your taxes won't go up.'"

Related: Trump Labor Nom Is Fast Food CEO And 'Fight For 15' Critic

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What We're Reading

Black Life and Death in the Age of Obama (The Nation)

The Unwilling Model Faces of White Supremacy (Racked)