Good morning from snowbound Washington, D.C., and New York, where TPM is based. Here’s what our team is watching today.
On Monday, the Supreme Court said it wouldn’t get involved in Pennsylvania’s redistricting case. That means the state’s voters will go to the polls this fall using re-drawn congressional districts that aren’t illegally gerrymandered by the GOP.
But it raises a question: North Carolina’s congressional map also was ruled a Republican gerrymander. It was drawn, an appeals court found, with “invidious partisan intent.” In fact, the court found that two districts were not just partisan gerrymanders but racially discriminatory gerrymanders that reduced the impact of black votes. North Carolina’s map, though, is likely to still be in effect this November.
So why do Pennsylvanians get to use fair(-ish) maps while North Carolinians don’t? Blame SCOTUS, basically.
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.
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).
Good morning, and happy first day of spring — even if it doesn’t feel like it here on the east coast. Here’s what our team is watching today.
A report today by TPM’s Allegra Kirkland poured some cold water on the news that the Federal Election Commission is looking into whether Russians illegally funneled money to the NRA to help Trump’s campaign. In fact, it looks like the agency has done little more than acknowledge it received a complaint on the issue from a Democratic group.
Happy Monday. Here’s what we have our eyes on today.
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.
You’ve seen the news of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe’s firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, late on a Friday evening East Coast time. Sessions’ full statement is at the bottom of Tierney Sneed’s report. Let’s stipulate that dishonesty, under oath, by an FBI official is a grave matter. That’s what Sessions’ cites in firing McCabe, and he lays it on the findings of the Justice Department’s inspector general and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility. We haven’t seen their reports yet, so it is difficult to make an independent assessment. But this whole thing stinks.
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.