04.25.2017 - 3:51 PM EDT

Rush says Trump is caving on his border wall.

04.25.2017 - 3:04 PM EDT

If I’m not mistaken, Sean Spicer, presumably speaking for the administration, is making a series of distinct and perhaps contradictory arguments about why it doesn’t need to, can’t or just shouldn’t turn over documents tied to former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.

04.24.2017 - 10:09 PM EDT

I noted over the weekend just how weak a hand President Trump was playing in his effort to force Democrats to vote for border wall money with a threat of taking away people’s health care coverage. I said this afternoon that it looked like he was getting ready to cave. But I could scarcely have imagined that Trump would preemptively cave as quickly, objectively and ridiculousness as he appears to have done. This is turning into the Dog Day Afternoon of legislative hostage dramas.

04.24.2017 - 9:00 PM EDT

John Pfaff, Professor of Law at Fordham University, will join us in The Hive for a discussion about criminal law. Feel free to ask him questions about sentencing, criminal justice reform, incarceration rates and more. Submit your questions any time or feel free to join us Thursday at 1. If you'd like to participate but don't have TPM Prime, sign up here.

04.24.2017 - 7:29 PM EDT

Senate Republicans returning to the Capitol this evening from recess don’t sound like they’re spoiling for a government shutdown over funding Trump’s border wall.

Not even close.

04.24.2017 - 5:37 PM EDT

I want to go back to the point I made this weekend, which is that President Trump’s threat to shut the government down and kick people off insurance (by pulling subsidies) if Democrats didn’t agree to fund the wall is just a big time political loser.

I stick to that point. But let’s see what now seems to be happening. President Trump’s advisors are now signaling that Trump plans to back down because he knows he’ll lose. In other words, Mr Winning, Dominating, Make the Best Deals is about to go Low Energy and walk away from a sure loss while trying to pretend it never happened.

04.24.2017 - 4:31 PM EDT

I just listened to the reliable party man Hugh Hewitt on MSNBC confidently predicting that voters would not stand for a “Schumer shutdown” of the federal government over President Trump’s demand for funding over his border wall. I’ve seldom seen a man so slavishly bend all his ideas to whatever Republican happens to be in power. In any case, here’s why that “Schumer shutdown” prediction is almost certainly wrong.

04.23.2017 - 11:17 PM EDT

France’s results on Sunday are certainly welcome. In the December 2015 regional elections, Marine Le Pen’s Front National came in first in the first round with 28 percent. As late as this March, she was nudging 30 percent in presidential polls. If you figured that in the run-off, she would get some of the votes that might have gone to the conservative candidate Francois Fillon, Le Pen looked like she could get 45 percent of the vote. And who knows – a big terrorist attack, a scandalous revelation about her likely opponent, Emmanuel Macron, and she could be France’s next president.

04.23.2017 - 9:05 PM EDT

Over recent months, I’ve several times noted that President Trump thought that once he won the election, everybody would love him. I base this on various comments he’s made and just my general sense of his personality. But nowhere to date has he said it more clearly, more openly.

It comes in this AP interview and it turns on his press coverage (emphasis added) …

04.23.2017 - 7:45 PM EDT

The AP has now released the full transcript of its Friday interview with President Trump and it is completely amazing.

Full transcript after the jump …

04.23.2017 - 6:30 PM EDT

Is the President already pre-failing his “border wall or the your annual physical gets it” hostage drama shakedown? As I noted on Friday, the President is or was setting up a government shutdown drama in which he threatens to deprive people of coverage from the Obamacare exchanges if Democrats don’t agree to fund his border wall. As explained here, this is not only an egregious bit of legislative hostage taking and mafia-like shakedown, it also shows a pretty poor grasp of the politics of the moment.

Now it seems that the White House may be trying to moonwalk away from the threat.

04.23.2017 - 4:04 PM EDT

We now have a result in the French presidential election which until a week or so ago looked to be the expected, most probable outcome. The independent Emmanuel Macron (technically the candidate of the made-for-purpose Forward party) will face National Front candidate Marine Le Pen in a run-off on May 7th. It seems very likely that Macron will be the eventual winner, though nothing these days can be treated as certain. The defeated candidates of the two dominant mainstream parties, the Socialists (Hamon) and the Gaullist Republicans (Fillon), have both already said they will vote for Macron since Le Pen stands outside the bounds of acceptable national leaders.

I am no expert on French domestic politics and make no pretense of being one. But I am a close and concerned observer of the rightist-populist trend which has been roiling Europe and North America. So I have some thoughts on that dimension of the story.

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