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TPMLivewire is the tip of the TPM breaking news spear, covering the news in real time using a combination of aggregation and original reporting to keep readers up to speed on the latest developments in TPM’s coverage areas.

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Don't Be An Idiot. Republicans Have Never Cared About Deficits.

It’s remarkable the degree to which television commentators are embracing interpretations of Republican fiscal profligacy which are either oblivious, unschooled or simply dishonest. One line has it that Republicans are shedding their former obsession with spending and deficits. Another had it that Republicans are realizing that their ‘base’ doesn’t really care as much about deficits as they thought. They really agree with Trump, who doesn’t care about deficits. All of this is nonsense – not based on a theory or interpretation but simple history and experience. In a word, facts. Deficits go up, often dramatically, under Republican governance and usually go down under Democrats. This isn’t an interpretation. It’s a simple fact. Nor is it an artifact of history or coincidence. It is because Republicans don’t care about deficits.

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Blaming Hope Hicks?

The President appears to be blaming Hope Hicks for the Rob Porter firestorm …

'They Protected An Abuser'

You can measure how badly the White House is handling the Rob Porter abuse case by watching the incensed reaction of Amanda Carpenter, a former staffer to Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), just now on CNN.

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The GOP and Big Lie Politics

The biggest impact of the Nunes Memo – and the accompanying wave of propaganda – is that conventional news and commentary is incapable of handling willful lying in the public sphere. This is a pattern we’ve seen again and again. It’s one of the hallmarks of this political age. It’s worth saying it again: conventional media is not equipped to deal with willful lying in the public sphere.

Let’s consider the coverage of the Nunes Memo.

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What Happened on the Health Care Front

Last week we introduced you to our first reporters’ Sum-Up, our weekly summaries of all the critical information you need to know on a major subject area as of that date from our lead reporter on that beat. Health policy is our first sum-up and here’s our second installment from Alice Ollstein.

These Sum-Ups will be published on a fixed weekly schedule, with an emphasis on concision and breadth. Our purpose is to provide you with one quick read to ensure you are up to date on every significant development in the given topic area. We plan to introduce new Sum-Ups on voting rights/democracy and the Russia probe in the coming week.

Trump To Plead the De Facto 5th

The Times is reporting that the President’s personal lawyers are recommending that he refuse to be interviewed or questioned by Robert Mueller’s investigators under any circumstances. Let’s be candid about what this means. The President is pleading the 5th while trying to avoid saying that’s what he’s doing. Let’s call it the de facto 5th. The constitutional law is clear cut. It’s not at all hypothetical. A sitting President has no blanket right to refuse to cooperate with a criminal investigation. Different dimensions of this question were litigated under Presidents Nixon and Clinton. The Courts were clear each time. The President has to comply with the law and with criminal investigations just like everyone else, though there may be certain areas of privilege. Presidents have been interviewed by special prosecutors, special counsels and independent counsels in numerous cases. The President is obviously guilty of obstruction of justice. He’s likely guilty of criminal conspiracy with a foreign power, though what if any statutes this would implicate is not clear to me. It makes perfect sense to refuse to talk. Perps do that all the time. It’s their right.

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We Know Devin Nunes Probable Collaborator at the White House: Michael Ellis

On the House side (and to some but a much lesser extent in the Senate) congressional oversight has been entirely focused on protecting President Trump. With so many key questions ignored and evidence covered up, that leaves an ample to do list of necessary investigations if the Democrats retake control of the House of Representatives in January 2019. Here’s another for the list – it’s about Committee Chair Rep. Devin Nunes and his probable collaborator in the White House.

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