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Podcast Ep #7 with Jeff Toobin!

Episode #7 of The Josh Marshall Podcast is out. I ask The New Yorker’s Jeff Toobin the big question: Is Paul Manafort more worried about a lifetime sentence or getting nerve gassed in Northern Virginia. Listen here. And remember: please subscribe on iTunes or Google Play if you haven’t already. It really helps a lot.

McCabe, Amazon and Defending the Republic from Donald Trump

Over the last three days, a GoFundMe account for fired former acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe has raised more than $500,000 for legal defense expenses. In response I’ve seen a number of people pillory the effort as a sort of liberal do-gooderism gone off the rails. Rather than flooding money on a guy who is at worst very solidly in the upper middle class, people should focus their charity on climate activism or poverty or cancer research. In a similar vein, Damon Linker has this column up about Donald Trump’s criticisms of Amazon. As he puts it, “Liberals find the president so morally repulsive and so transparently dishonest that they now respond to everything he says with instantaneous outrage and disgust, while presuming in each and every case that his statements are made in bad faith, concealing baser motives.” As he later concludes, “On Amazon, he’s indisputably right.”

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We'd Like To Hear From You

We have a very interesting reporting project we’re working on. Do you work in a business that does marketing on Facebook? Especially DTC marketing? Are you directly involved in that part of the business, advertising through the Facebook interface? If you do, we’d love to hear from you. There are a few questions we’re interested in asking. Drop us a line by email – our regular tips and comments line. All totally confidential.

Just put “Facebook” in your subject line.

Must Read

Good Lord, you’ve got to read this. In many ways, Donald Trump embodies the rot, ridiculousness and corruption the GOP has been tumbling toward for 30 years. But if Trump and Trumpism are the macrocosm, twice-former Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) is the microcosm: a crooked, ridiculous goofball extremist who got washed into Congress in the 1994 wave election but was too ridiculous even for the “Gingrich Revolution” and got tossed two years later. He made a comeback in 2012 and now he’s on trial in Texas on a 28 count felony fraud trial the charges for which are like a ‘Best in Show’ litany of comically crooked nonsense. One of the highlights is he hired James O’Keefe’s mentor to run an undercover ‘sting’ against a fellow Republican he thought might run against him. It’s Mad Magazine Spy v Spy kinda stuff. Allegra Kirkland’s got a quick and dirty run-down you’re going to want to read.

Trial Run For A Purge?

Yesterday morning, we published a scoop by Alice Ollstein: Congressional Democrats, she reported, are demanding an investigation into Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s order last summer to reassign dozens of top-level DOI career employees. His choice of who to reassign, Democrats allege, may have been racially discriminatory, in addition to being politically motivated. Government investigators are also currently looking into whether these reassignments may have broken laws protecting civil servants.

Alice’s reporting is part of TPM’s longterm focus on how the Trump administration treats civil servants, and whether the administration is choosing who to fire and reassign with political objectives in mind. That would be illegal.

Thinking big picture, why does this story matter? In a Prime post, Alice digs into one reason: If investigators uphold Zinke’s decision to reassign and marginalize DOI employees, one whistleblower told her, it could give the green light for a government-wide purge.

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