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

Is Carson For Prez A Direct Mail Scam?

If you remember the plot of Mel Brooks' classic movie, The Producers, the idea was that the scammers set out to produce the worst possible play imaginable to be certain it would close after one night. Yet, they made it so bad it broke through the membrane of awful into the sublime. And they were screwed. Which brings us to the Ben Carson campaign. There is a lot of evidence, coming from a variety of angles, that Carson for President is actually a direct mail scam. Or at least that it started that way.

First, let me explain a bit about what I mean.

Read More →


At the end of next week, TPM will celebrate its 15th year online. Three more than twelve, a third of my life. Wow.

We're going to put together some fun stuff for next week. And we've got something I think core readers will be really excited about which we're announcing tomorrow.

That's Disturbing

From the Denver Post ...

Minutes before 33-year-old Noah Harpham began a shooting rampage Saturday in Colorado Springs that would leave four dead, his neighbor spotted the tall, lanky man standing outside with a rifle.

Naomi Bettis said she called 911 to report Harpham, but a dispatcher explained that Colorado has an open carry law that allows public handling of firearms. Bettis was perturbed by the call taker's response, which she feels could have prevented catastrophe.

Read the rest here.

Whiner Syndicate In Crisis

After yesterday's joint agreement among Republican presidential candidates to negotiate the terms of future debates with right-wing cable networks, it seemed like the biggest breakthrough for collective bargaining in the GOP in half a century. But now it looks like the whole effort is breaking down. First, Trump, striver, says he'll negotiate directly with the networks. Now Fiorina, Kasich, and Christie each say they won't sign either.

So now we're left with, who's actually going to sign? And can the Syndicate survive at all? Or is it just Ben Carson, Jeb and guys who can't get over 1%?

Speaking of Fracking

With the news of the demise of the Keystone Pipeline, I wanted to flag some new Insight survey data on fracking. (No, not directly connected; but both centered on energy policy and the environment.) In our question, we asked "Which best fits your opinion about the drilling process calling hydraulic fracturing or "fracking"?

Read More →

With a Whimper Not a Bang

TransCanada asks US to suspend approval request for Keystone Pipeline.

There's an interesting side note to this battle. And this is not remotely to understate the work of activists who fought for years to scuttle the project. As things ground on over the last two years, a reality came to the surface: the fight over the pipeline had become deeply enmeshed in the nation's partisan battles. But historically low oil prices were at the same time undercutting the economic rationale for the entire project. I remember thinking earlier this year that there seemed to be more enthusiasm for the project on the part of US Republicans - largely to score political points - than there was on the part of the people trying to build it. In any case, with a formal Obama administration rejection apparently in the offing, years of activism and the collapse of oil prices appear to have conspired together to kill the Keystone Pipeline.