From The Reporter's Notebook
If TPM readers considered Kim Davis' appearance at the State of the Union a shock at the start of the year, they were certainly knocked off their chairs by every other stunner story that surrogates, electors, lawmakers and the President-elect himself dished out this year. The top 10 most-read TPM stories of the year included Trump backers, Rudy Giuliani, electors, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and—of course—the President-elect's Twitter.
Agree or Disagree?
Josh Marshall: "It's difficult for me to imagine that this would work just as textbook economics dictates or that there wouldn't be a lot of disruption (largely absorbed by middle income consumers) along the way. (I'm not sure whether I'm more luddite or empiricist here when it comes to my skepticism of economists' textbook arguments.) My broader skepticism about this move is that House Republicans seem to be selling it as a way to support President-Elect Trump's populist/protectionist agenda. But when pressed on the harsh downsides for consumers, they point to economic theories that suggest it won't really have any effect on trade either way. There's some pretty major bad faith there at a minimum."
"Who has to tell @realdonaldtrump he can't build a golf course on the South Lawn?"
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) poked fun at cabinet picks and advisers to Trump as part of his annual celebration of the Festivus holiday.
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: "I think that, starting in the Limbaugh years (the first anti-PC backlash) that there has been something of a 'punk rock' ethos to being conservative. I think some of them (a lot, actually) are enjoying the shock value. We say they can't make Donald Trump president and they do it anyway. We complain that he violates norms and they laugh. Dealing with them is like going back to the 70s and telling a teenager who just discovered the Sex Pistols to turn the record down. Sadly, it's non-punk punk we have now—all stale Heineken and prescribed opiates."
Related: One of Trump's senior communications staffers resigned on Christmas Eve amid reports that he had an extramarital affair.
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What We're Reading
16 obsessive letters Donald Trump wrote to "Mad Alex" Salmond about wind turbine "monsters" in Scotland. (The Huffington Post)
The most memorable stories of the year, as told by Washington Post foreign correspondents. (The Washington Post)