Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Facebook Acts Like a Law Unto Itself

I have thought for some time that Facebook is essentially a bad actor in the tech and platform spaces. There aren’t good companies and bad companies of course. All the tech behemoths play in the space that has now landed Facebook in so much trouble. In some ways, Google does even more, certainly when it comes to collecting, mining and monetizing almost limitless amounts of personal information, largely for the purposes of targeting advertising. But Facebook has again and again shown a more nefarious side – it shows up in the indifferent manner in which they deal with people’s personal information. It shows up in the very different realm of how they deal with business partners – creating whole business ecosystems and then pulling the rug from under them when it suits their purposes. There are lots of problems with Google, which I’ve discussed. But they don’t act like that. Not like Facebook.

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Configure Your Email

This is a unique and unorthodox post going out to a single reader, Barbara A., who’s written a number of emails over the last few weeks about the podcast and now the Editors’ Blog. Barbara, you’re writing from a dead or misconfigured email address. So all my replies bounce back. (Seems to be a misconfigured MS outlook app. TMI, I know.)

I try to respond personally to as many emails as I can, though inevitably a small minority of the emails we now get. But for everyone please be sure you’re writing from an email which is properly configured with a reply address. In some cases the issue may be a disconnect between your app and clicking one of our email links. In that case, type in our email manually: talk (at) talkingpointsmemo dot com.

Dowd Out

President Trump’s lead personal attorney in the Russia probe has quit the case, according to reports. John Dowd’s decision comes shortly after Trump added former U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova to his legal team.

Episode #5 Of The Josh Marshall Podcast Is Out

Episode #5 of The Josh Marshall Podcast is out. This week, we talk to former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa. It’s a fascinating discussion about how counter intelligence investigations operate and why Paul Manafort is a key part of the Trump-Russia story. We also discuss the ongoing Stormy Daniels saga. Listen to the episode here or on iTunes or Google Play. Please subscribe to the podcast and leave a review.  

Will Congress Blow Its Best Chance?

An omnibus package needs to pass by Friday to keep the government open. That omnibus is also Congress’ last, best chance to stabilize Obamacare’s individual markets. But Republicans have attached an expansion of the Hyde Amendment into the stabilization legislation, a poison pill for Democrats. Alice Ollstein has that story — and all the other health care news of the week — in our latest sum-up (Prime access).

See You In A Week

I’m going to be away for a week. We prerecorded the latest episode of The Josh Marshall show. That will drop on Tuesday. You’re in good hands. Sign up for Prime if you haven’t already. Be excellent to each other.

We Talked To Stormy's Lawyer

Lot of stuff in this interview from earlier this afternoon with Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti. He tells us more about threats of physical violence that have been used to keep her silent, other “Trump surrogates” who’ve been involved in leveling those threats and spreading false information about Stormy. We also get into Michael Cohen’s tactics, his history of strong-arm tactics and more. Listen here on the site or on iTunes or Google Play. This is a Josh Marshall Podcast Extra. Listen and remember to subscribe. It helps us no end if you subscribe on iTunes or Google Play.

Everybody Gets Hurt

This is a White House press pool report from a few moments ago …

Since it’s a quiet day — albeit with heightened anticipation — I will point out the flurry around National Security Adviser HR McMaster’s brief appearance outside the West Wing a bit ago. He was escorting guests out of the West Wing entrance, near the stakeout area. Tara Palmeri of ABC News caught up with him. Per her tweet, he said, “Everybody has got to leave the White House at some point.” She asked if he was leaving sooner rather than later, and he said, ‘I’m doing my job.” Then he walked back inside.