Monday is the first official day of our new TPM Investigations Desk. So our editors don’t kill me, I want to be clear that no one should expect a flood of exclusives on day or two or three or even in week one. We’re building a new part of the editorial team, a new editorial process within our organization. It will be an incremental build. One new reporter starts Monday. I expect a second member of the Investigations Desk to start in July. And with luck we’ll be able to add a third next month as well, though it may take until August for that.
The Investigations Desk is part of a broad recommitment to TPM’s tradition of muckraking and investigative digging. It’s by means only about the Russia investigation. But in the nature of things that will be a big focus for some time to come. With that in mind, I was spending some time today trying to articulate as concisely as I was able just what we’re looking for, just what we’re trying to find out.
Back on June 19th, almost a week ago, I announced that we were 514 membership sign-ups short of our June goal of hitting the milestone of 22,000 total subscribers. I was highly uncertain we’d be able to get there by June 30th. But we’ve actually made pretty startling progress. We’re now 307 sign-ups short of our goal. So still possible, albeit a stretch. So now I’m even more focused on making sure we hit this milestone. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a member, please take a moment and make today the day. Every new member who joins puts TPM on a firmer footing, makes us more able to do what we do every day and up our game. It’s important. On the fence? Waiting for the right moment? Just take the plunge. You will be glad you did. Click here.
The big news this afternoon is that Sen. Heller of Nevada says he opposes the Senate’s current health care repeal bill “in this form.” It is important to understand what this means. It is not opposition to the bill. It’s a bid to negotiate. And beyond that, all but certainly it is an effort to extract some minor concessions that will be the justification for voting for the bill and making it law.
After firing the current White House Chief Usher, the person who oversees the White House residence staff, the Trump Family has now found a replacement. It’s Timothy Harleth, who comes to the Trump White House from the Trump International Hotel down the street. Harleth is currently “director of rooms” at Trump DC.
Here’s the announcement just out from the White House …
People who follow health care policy discussions have known how crazy this is forever. But GOP criticisms of Obamacare for high deductibles and out of pocket costs have always been particularly duplicitous and dishonest since Republicans think out of pocket costs and deductibles should be higher! That’s just because they’re heartless, though on health care policy they are. It’s because the theory is that exposing people to the costs of their care will help reduce overall medical spending. (In limited doses, this is not a crazy theory.) In any case, Tierney Sneed has an update on how Republicans are now officially deciding that high deductibles and limited coverage is in fact awesome.
I suspect that some TPM readers are going to disagree with David Goodhart’s assessment of the youth vote in the British election and with his view of Jeremy Corbyn’s politics. I have a somewhat different take myself on the youth vote. But there are two things that I want to point out in this interview that I did with him about British politics. First, he is absolutely right to remind us that Theresa May and the Tories got their highest percentage of the vote since 1983. They failed to live up to expectations. And May made a mistake in calling the election. But the Tories remain Britain’s leading party.
News comes today that despite President Trump’s heroic intervention to save the jobs of manufacturing workers at a Carrier plant in Indiana last winter, they’re basically all losing their jobs anyway.
From CNBC …
It’s still possible. Over the last three days we’ve signed up an average of 66 new Prime members each day. That leaves us looking for 324 new members by the end of this month to meet our goal for June. Even my once High School D-for-the-semester getting math skills tell me that’s possible over the next eight days (a weekend makes it a little less than eight full days). Thinking about becoming a subscriber? Take a moment right now and become our newest member. Just click right here.
I know I’m harping on this point. But again, the fallacy of policy literalism. It has always been crystal clear for numerous reasons that the Senate health care repeal bill would be the like the House bill, both versions, just as it will be like the final bill that emerges from a conference committee. McConnell and Ryan knew that ball hiding about scores and legislative language would prevent reporters from saying this: Around 24 million Americans will lose their coverage, everyone will go back to the era of pre-existing conditions restrictions and lifetime limits. The freed up money will go to a big tax cut for the very wealthy. You didn’t need to see the legislative language to know this. It’s been a failure of journalism to pretend otherwise.
The best analog to President Trump’s stance toward the Russia probe and his refusal to accept that Russian interference even happened is a husband who is suspected in his wife’s disappearance and repeatedly insists that she’s probably on a beach in Aruba having a good laugh at his expense.
In any normal circumstance, by any conventional standard, Trump’s attitude and actions are ones that are only consistent with guilt. He has not only repeatedly insisted on his innocence, which the innocent and guilty do in equal measure, but insisted that the crime itself never actually happened. On top of this, using his unique powers as President, he has repeatedly taken actions to end the investigation into his campaign. The most blatant example was firing the FBI Director with the stated goal of relieving the pressure of the Russia probe. But that’s just the most glaring example.