Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Did Trump's Doc Really See Clinton's Medical Records?

These remarks have gotten very little attention. But they're quite remarkable. In his interview with NBC News, Dr. Harold Bornstein, Donald Trump's freakshow doctor, pretty clearly implies that he's had improper access to Hillary Clinton's medical records and says her health history is "really not so good."

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Will Trumpism Survive Trump? (Hint: Yes)

We've discussed in several different contexts whether Trumpism will survive Trump. By and large, I think it will. But it's a more complicated question what exactly Trumpism will be without Trump. But here's some interesting data for the question.

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Still Hope

Democrats do not have a strong candidate against Marco Rubio this Fall. But Marco Rubio isn't a strong candidate either. After all he spent most of last year explaining that he didn't like being a senator. Today he hedged on whether he'd even stay in the Senate for a full six years if he's elected. So he's mainly running against to queue up a 2020 run, I guess there's some wisdom in not making an unequivocal promise. But it's stuff like this that makes me think the Dems are still in the hunt in Florida.

Understanding the "Dark Web"

A couple months ago while I was waiting to do a TV appearance I met a guy named Laith Alkhouri. Laith specializes in studying the so-called "deep web", where terrorist groups communicate, recruit, plan, discuss and more. Our initial conversation touched on the fact that ISIS fighters and recruiters were actually giddy about the prospect of a Trump presidency, believing he would wreck the US in various ways through generalized incompetence but also be drawn into another ground war in the Syria and northern Iraq where ISIS now rules - something which may sound like something that would terrify ISIS but is actually their fondest wish. In any case, in the course of the conversation, I got more interested in the "dark web" itself.

We've all heard and known for years that terrorist groups use the internet to communicate, chat, propagandize and recruit. We hear about this on the news all the time. All the domestic terrorists in the US found recruiters and propaganda online. But where exactly does this happen? Like if I decided that I wanted to learn more about being a jihadist and maybe trade in TPM to go kill people in Syria, where would I go online exactly to find out more? And where is it on the web that these folks go when they want to communicate at least semi-secretly? I realized that while I'd known for years that jihadism lives on the Internet, I didn't know anything about how it worked, where they congregate, how they recruit or maintain operational secrecy. But Laith lives in the "dark web." That's his job. So I asked him to write our latest story for The Arch, which we're publishing today. Check it out, a totally fascinating story.

The US Treasury should be cheering the EU Case against Apple. It's not.

We pause our election coverage for a report from the real world of jobs, corporations, and taxes. The European Union’s authorities in Brussels are demanding that Apple, America’s largest corporation, pay billions of Euros in back taxes. The Obama administration is fighting the EU on Apple’s behalf. It shouldn’t be. Instead, it should be taking a lesson from the EU on how to deal with multinational corporations that shift their profits around to avoid paying taxes in the country where they are actually headquartered.

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OMG. Trump Goes Full Jeb!/Rubes

We're getting the first advance word about what's going to be included in Trump's big immigration policy speech on Wednesday. And it sounds like he's going Full Jeb!, or at a minimum Total Marco.

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Polling Note

Emerson came out with a series of polls today in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan - with Senate polls in addition to presidential polls in the first two states. All of the results show numbers substantially more friendly to Republicans, either the given Senate candidates or to Trump. Now, that could conceivably be the leading edge of a trend or simply an outlier. It's always important not to start hyper-examining the details of poll that either surprises you or has results you don't like. It's very easy to end up fooling yourself. But here there's a specific reason of caution.

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Could The Election Itself Be Hacked?

A few weeks back, when I was writing about possible Russian efforts to influence the US election, a number of security experts pointed me to concerns about hacking or tampering with the actual US voting apparatus. Now the FBI has reached out to local election officials after hacks were detected in two states. Whether something has Russian fingerprints on it is obviously hugely inflammatory and polarization. I think the emphasis here is something that someone may be trying to do this - at least on first blush, precisely who it is is less important to taking precautions to prevent problems.

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Takeover Complete

Over the last few years, as 'government shutdown' went from being a crazy ass thing Newt Gingrich did twenty years ago - never to be tried again - to the top item on the Republican policy agenda, you could hear more and more Republicans saying something like this: We thought it was this great thing that we had our own cable news network as an arm of the GOP or the conservative movement, echoing talking points, spinning the news. But at a certain point we realized Fox News wasn't working for us. We're working for Fox News.

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