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

Unsexy, Very Important

I'm a huge supporter of infrastructure spending - both for the multiple economic benefits of large-scale infrastructure projects and the more mundane reason that the things you build are good to have: roads, modern rail systems, airports, bridges that don't collapse, modern energy infrastructure. The list is almost endless. This makes a lot of people excited about Donald Trump's push for infrastructure spending. But put on the brakes and don't get excited. As I mentioned a few days ago, Trump isn't proposing major spending on infrastructure projects. He's proposing 'public private partnerships', which as we explained here are in most cases efficient ways to sell off public goods to private corporations.

But it's actually even worse than that.

Read More →

The Other Reality

Though Hillary Clinton lost North Carolina, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who shepherded into law a crackdown on minority voting, the insipid 'bathroom law' and much more, could not manage a win like Donald Trump. Not by much - only about 5,000 votes. But he lost. Now he is trying to hold on to power the way he wielded power - by claiming the election is being stolen by election fraud.

The Calamity of Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions running the Justice Department represents a huge step backward for voting rights in the United States. It's a big step backwards on numerous issues. But this is the issue I'm focusing on in this post. In one way it will bring us back to the dark days of the Bush DOJ when political operatives tried to use the country's US Attorneys to drive a voter suppression agenda around the country. That, you'll remember, was the backstory to the US Attorney firing scandal. The fired US Attorneys were ones who wouldn't play ball or resisted playing ball when it came to bringing trumped up 'voter fraud' prosecutions as part of that campaign of voter suppression. I think we can be confident that that will now return with a vengeance.

But there's a broader point I'd like to make on Sessions.

Read More →

The Great Disinhibition

From TPM Reader AK ...

Been reading you for over a decade and don't think I've ever written in. I live in a progressive Southern city and other than a comment by a high school teacher have never encountered anti-semitism.

Read More →

Is The Transcript Public?

Interesting moment on CNN about an hour ago.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was on CNN talking about the Trump transition. In the course of that conversation there was this exchange with Wolf Blitzer about General Flynn.

BLITZER: Let's talk about another issue that's come up, his connections with Russia. He made frequent appearances on Russian state media, the propaganda arm of Putin rt. He was photographed as you know sitting next to president Putin at one of their big Galas exactly a year ago. He was paid to make a speech there. Is that a problem, you think?

Read More →

Have We Found a Straggler?

We've been hunting around to try to find out where everyone stands on the Medicare phase out question, as you know. And we may have found a Republican who's on the fence or wavering about supporting Paul Ryan's plan to phase out Medicare and replace it with private insurance and vouchers. Most Reps and Senators line up along expected party lines. We're most interested in the ones that don't. We may have found one: Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ).

Read More →

Babies and Bathwater

An important corrective from TPM Reader JES ...

So much of the response from Dems in post-mortems seems like they are treating a problem that didn’t occur. Democrats won the popular vote (by what looks like it will be millions of votes) and would have won control of the House absent gerrymandering. It was a consequential election not a landslide. These things are different. The consequences haven’t been greater in a long time, but acting like it was 1984 or 1972 is an error all in itself.

Read More →

Where Do We Stand on Phasing Out Medicare?

I wanted to take a moment to update you on where we stand on Paul Ryan's plan to phase out Medicare and replace it with private insurance and vouchers. The short version: where we are is not good. Somewhat paradoxically, Medicare may actually be in far greater danger of being dismantled than Obamacare. More on that in a moment.

In recent days we noted that Paul Ryan and people in the Trump camp had suggested that Congress might use a single piece of legislation or at least simultaneously repeal Obamacare and phase out Medicare. It was suggested that this might happen as soon as January. That still may happen.

Read More →

Above and Beyond Prime

For everyone who has asked if there's a way to support TPM journalism over and above for Prime subscription, this is for you.

This is a note for current Prime subscribers. We've heard from lots of you over the last week that we should raise the cost of a Prime subscription (not going to do that) or give you some way to support TPM and our 2017 reporting plans beyond your $50 annual subscription fee. Well, yes we do! We allow readers to purchase "credit subscriptions" (here's an overview of the concept from 2013) which we then assign to readers who can't afford to subscribe. Everybody wins: you add more reporting firepower, people who can't afford to subscribe get access. Here is the link. You can buy one for $50 or 10 for $500 or 20 for $1000. However many you want. And to be clear, zero is totally fine too. No one should feel under any obligation to do this. If you've signed up for Prime you are 100% good with this. This is purely for people who can and would like to. It's more money to do more reporting and allows us to create a viable subscription model while not excluding readers who don't have the resources to afford a subscription. Want to support TPM over and above your Prime subscription? This is how. Just click right here.