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Updated: 2018-01-20T03:36:27Z

 



There It Is. We Have a Shutdown.

2018-01-19T22:37:09-05:00

The key vote just went down to defeat. The government is shutting down. In theory, there’s still 90 minutes to go before that happens. But there’s no plan for any other attempt to happen before midnight. We have a government shutdown.

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You Have to Watch This

2018-01-19T22:21:28-05:00

This is what your wingnut uncle was watching tonight on Hannity. Nothing is at it seems. A vast conspiracy of disloyal Republicans has plotted against President Trump. But their deeds have been uncovered. They will soon all be in prison. And all will be well. Watch this short video after the jump. Read More →

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Senate Vote Under Way

2018-01-19T22:18:59-05:00

The Senate is now voting on the House CR. Still expected to fail. Our report from the Hill soon after the vote …

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Disturbing

2018-01-19T17:13:36-05:00

Earlier this month, the White House announced it was ending so-called “temporary protected status” for some 200,000 Salvadoran migrants living in the United States. The migrants were allowed into the US following two major earthquakes in 2001. El Salvador is a poor, small country. Reintegrating 200,000 people will likely be a highly destabilizing process and certainly very expensive. According to reports in Al Jazeera and Reuters, the government of El Salvador is in talks with Qatar to see if those migrants expelled from the US can be sent to Qatar. Read More →

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Shutdowns Are Part of the GOP Brand. Of Course They Get the Blame.

2018-01-19T14:34:33-05:00

A new poll from The Washington Post shows that the public overwhelmingly blames Trump and the GOP for what seems to be an imminent government shutdown. 48% blame Trump and Republicans, 28% blame Democrats. A key indicator: independents fault the GOP 46% to 25%. None of this is a surprise. Those who are surprised are deluded or not paying attention. Every factor that plays into how the public views these questions makes the Republicans seem like the ones to blame. Read More →

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On To The Senate

2018-01-18T19:45:58-05:00

House passes stopgap spending bill 230-197: 5 Dems voted for it; 11 Republicans voted against it. Senate passage appears unlikely and so Friday will probably be another day of intra-party brinkmanship.

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All The Puffery

2018-01-18T18:57:18-05:00

The Freedom Caucus, after its usual Hamleting, has agreed to support the House GOP leadership’s short-term budget, virtually guaranteeing it’s passage this evening.

There’s goes most of the evening’s drama. Or … was there really genuine drama in the first place?

The dance is so well-rehearsed at this point that maybe the price of Freedom Caucus acquiescence is allowing them to Hamlet. The legislative “concession” they extract is more or less besides the point. The real point is public prancing about being more purely conservative than Ryan et al.

It’s getting tired.

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Sign of the Trump Times

2018-01-18T14:34:24-05:00

Senator Cotton confirms that his office sends out ‘cease and desist’ letters to constituents “under extreme circumstances.”

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This One Is Big

2018-01-18T12:27:10-05:00

There’s a very important article out this morning from McClatchy, one I’ve been waiting a very long time to read. The headline is that Bob Mueller’s probe is investigating whether Russia used the NRA to funnel money into the effort to elect Donald Trump. This news is not out of the blue. Read More →

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Bannon in the Chair

2018-01-18T12:34:01-05:00

A few interesting things to note about Bannon’s House testimony today, as described by Axios. Having started by saying he wouldn’t answer any questions about events during the transition or his time in the White House, Bannon flubbed and did discuss a key event: a conversation with Priebus, Spicer et al. about the Don Jr./Trump Tower meeting. Accident? That indisciplined? (The idea that privilege applies to the transition seems to be a complete nonstarter.) Read More →

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Did Trump Self-Report His Height?

2018-01-17T20:29:11-05:00

Longtime TPM Reader BW has an interesting hypothesis about the chatter surrounding President Trump’s medical exam results. Read More →

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Like a Perfect SAT Score

2018-01-17T16:38:41-05:00

From Reuters … Trump’s pumped he scored so high on a cognitive decline diagnostic test …

He blamed his three immediate predecessors, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, for failing to resolve the crisis and, a day after his doctor gave him a perfect score on a cognitive test, suggested he had the mental acuity to solve it.

“I guess they all realized they were going to have to leave it to a president that scored the highest on tests,” he said.

This was first flagged by Daniel Dale.

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Off To A Great Start!

2018-01-18T12:21:46-05:00

Tierney Sneed offers this reporter’s notebook (Prime access) on the innumerable ways Paul Manafort’s attorney has already gotten crosswise with the federal judge in the case.

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Give This a Read

2018-01-17T13:49:42-05:00

Definitely give this piece by Alice Ollstein a read. It’s not what the article is mainly about. But it’s another example of a key reality everyone should understand by now. John Kelly is really what amounts to Total Quality Trumpism, the same politics, in all its dimensions just with better impulse control and organizational discipline. He’s not some career professional doing the best he can to keep Trump normal. He’s all in. Definitely read this piece.

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Hmmm

2018-01-17T12:52:16-05:00

Steven Bannon’s attorney was relaying questions to the White House during his House intelligence committee interview. The White House repeatedly said not to answer questions.

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Can Social Networks Do Better? We Don't Know Because They Haven't Tried

2018-01-17T13:08:59-05:00

In the on-going tragedy of the expulsion and massacre of the Rohingya from Myanmar there’s a small part of the story which overlaps with our domestic discussion of the way social media platforms have been used to sow propaganda, hate speech, fake news and even become the tools of foreign intelligence organizations. It turns out that Facebook has been one of the primary channels for organizing the expulsion and the incitement of religious/ethnic hatred and vigilanteism which is a key part of it.

Much of the central role of Facebook, apparently, is tied to the fact that much of Myanmar until very recently had little modern media infrastructure. Then cell phones grew rapidly. So Facebook is a key way many people get their news. It’s a singular or near singular source of news to a far greater degree than in the developed world or many other parts of the developing world. Read More →

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Wisconsin Dems Flip GOP Held State Senate Seat

2018-01-17T00:11:23-05:00

In an upset victory, Democrats flipped a reliably Republican state senate seat in Wisconsin tonight. Barack Obama lost Wisconsin’s 10th senate district by 6 points in 2012 and Hillary Clinton lost it by 17 in 2016. But Democrat Patty Schachtner defeated Republican state Rep. Adam Jarchow. Late returns showed Schachtner ahead by roughly 1600 votes out of more than 20,000 cast. Read More →

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Meet the New Class of Extradition Migrants

2018-01-16T18:49:47-05:00

Few stories I’ve read recently better capture the Trump administration’s mix of mendacity and ridiculousness. The Department of Justice prepared a report seeking to show that a huge percentage of terrorist crimes in the US are committed by immigrants. They did this by defining people extradited to the US to face terrorism charges for crimes committed overseas as “immigrants”. Here’s the story.

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Worse Than We Thought

2018-01-16T16:05:29-05:00

We’ve been focused for several days on the President’s “shithole countries” remark, as we should be. But that only seems like one part of the story of that meeting, in some ways, not the most consequential or significant, inasmuch as it’s really not a surprise that President Trump thinks or speaks this way. A big story in The Washington Post and other information that has come out over the course of the day puts the whole meeting in a different light. Read More →

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Lies, Bad Lies and Trump Lies

2018-01-16T09:47:38-05:00

One of the most striking things about the last several days after the President’s “shithole” outburst is that two of the Senators in the room have now willingly and repeatedly lied on the President’s behalf to serve his narrow interests. Of course, politicians lie. Even the good ones will shade the truth and fail to speak up to clarify public confusion. But this is an extreme and almost unique case. Read More →

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