12.9.2016 - 2:13 PM EDT

We'll have a story coming shortly on what I just mentioned a short time ago: that Republicans are now planning to pass major cuts to Social Security this year. Specifically, this bill is being introduced by Rep. Sam Johnson, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's Social Security Subcommittee, the committee with jurisdiction over Social Security.

Until then let me cover the broad details of the plan.

12.9.2016 - 1:18 PM EDT

Republicans apparently aren't going to be satisfied with phasing out Medicare. They're going to try to pass huge cuts to Social Security this year too. Not Bush-style partial phaseout but just big, big cuts. And you're out of luck even if you're a current beneficiary.

More shortly.

12.9.2016 - 11:41 AM EDT

TPM reader JG adds some details to my suggestion that Trump may be refusing to divest himself of his business because he can't. As JG suggests, the issue is likely not cash flow per se. But creditors often require cash flow to service debts. As a condition of borrowing he may have agreed not to divest himself of certain properties.

I'm a (very) longtime reader, and a corporate lawyer. I agree with your story today regarding the possibility that Trump can't divest. It occurred to me right after the election that it would be impossible for Trump to sell if the companies were valued less than their debt, and that it would be very unattractive for him to sell if the companies were highly leveraged, because he'd have to pay off debt and could be left with very little of the proceeds. I still think this is a likely explanation.

12.9.2016 - 10:47 AM EDT

You likely heard that retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey expressed deep concern over Gen. Michael Flynn's appointment as National Security Advisor after reviewing some of Flynn's "demented" tweets. Just a few moments ago McCaffrey appeared on MSNBC, seemingly at least partly reassured, after getting a "long email" from Flynn explaining himself.

12.9.2016 - 10:22 AM EDT

I've mentioned this point a few times. But there are the details. Why the rush to repeal the ACA even if there's a notional long 'transition period'? Simple. Repealing the ACA produces a huge tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. We've noted that. What few have noted is that by killing the funding now, the GOP is all but guaranteeing there will never be a replacement for Obamacare and that the 20 to 30 million American who lose their insurance now will ever get it back. Think about it. The GOP is asking people to believe that they will pass a major tax hike in 2018 to fund their 'replacement' for Obamacare. Here are the details.

12.9.2016 - 8:45 AM EDT

If you've been thinking about joining Prime, do it now. If you feel like you need TPM, then TPM definitely needs you. I get it. I delay too. I know what it's like. I'll do it a bit later. I'm in the middle of something. But stop. Pull out your wallet. Take out your credit card. It only takes a minute or two. It's really easy. You'll get a better TPM experience and you'll help us keep doing what we do. Just click here.

12.8.2016 - 11:41 PM EDT

This is from a just released Pew Poll ...

A second major issue likely to be considered by the 115th Congress – possible changes to Medicare – has not resonated widely with the public. Overall, only about half of the public (51%) has heard a lot (12%) or a little (39%) about a proposal to change Medicare to a program that would give future participants a credit toward purchasing private health insurance. About as many either have heard nothing (48%) or don’t know (1%).

12.8.2016 - 7:25 PM EDT

Since Donald Trump's surprise election one month ago, there's been a bubbling conversation about the mammoth conflicts of interest he will have if he is running or even owning his far flung business enterprises while serving as the head of state. I've suggested that the whole notion of 'conflicts of interest' doesn't really capture what we're dealing with here, which is really a pretty open effort to leverage the presidency to expand his family business. But a couple things came together for me today which make me think we've all missed the real issue.

12.8.2016 - 5:33 PM EDT

There's something disturbing about Tulsi Gabbard.

Gabbard has something of a dissident stance within the Democratic party. She resigned from the DNC during the primaries over claims of bias against Bernie Sanders. She very conspicuously met with President-elect Trump a couple weeks ago. She's very critical of President Obama's foreign policy which she calls a "neo-con" foreign policy. These all seem like reasonable critiques, though not all ones I'd agree with.

But she just answered a question on CNN that struck me as very troubling and made me see some of her earlier comments in a different light. It was about the number of generals Donald Trump is putting in senior cabinet positions.

12.8.2016 - 2:12 PM EDT

Millions of people's lives and livelihoods are on the line. So it's not funny. But if there weren't such dire real world consequences, Paul Ryan's current flimflam would be straight up hilarious. Repealing Obamacare has immediate real world consequences. It will trigger providers to leave the system. It will deprive between 20 and 30 million people of the health care coverage they now have. (Here are the details of who loses their coverage, down to the state level.)

12.8.2016 - 1:40 PM EDT

We are in the final three weeks of our 2016 Prime membership drive. We have 1815 signups to go. Today I wanted to let you know about a new feature we're introducing today. Many of you know friends or relatives who read TPM and who might like Prime as a gift for the holiday season. That's now possible. To be clear, these are separate from "credit subscriptions" which users can buy for readers who lack the financial means to join. These are straight-up holiday season gifts you can give to a spouse or parent or child or anyone you wish. If you'd like to buy some friend or loved one a gift, click right here.

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12.8.2016 - 1:32 PM EDT

Meet Trump's pick for Labor secretary, CEO of the company that owns Carl's Jr.:

I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it's very American. I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality.

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