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Will He Buckle?

Here at TPM we've been wondering: how much is Donald Trump's business being harmed and could the damage get severe enough that he'd shift gears and try to reverse the damage. We talked to the author of a soon-to-be-released biography of Trump to get some insight on that question. Check it out.

For me it's a fascinating question because I think Trump really, really likes being not just rich but among the super rich. And I suspect he'd do anything not to face the humiliation of major financial reverses. But he's arrogant and headstrong enough that I think it's almost impossible to imagine him going into damage control or 'crisis communications' mode and begging forgiveness or trying to shift gears.

We shall see.

Trump, the Rebel Flag and the Hoofbeats of 2016

Some things are not related, except they are totally related. Witness today's news that GOP Chair Reince Priebus felt compelled to reach out to peak GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and beg him to tone down the Stormfront.org-like attacks on Mexican immigrants - and just as notably to leak to the press that the call had happened. Trump is now out denying the reports, claiming that Priebus had told him he was doing great and had struck "a nerve" with his rants. For my part, I think both reports may well be true. If you're someone of Priebus' relative stature, approaching someone of Trump's arrogance and buffoonery, who is insulated from all of the pressures usually used to bring politicians to heel, you're not going to say, "Dude, STFU or else." I think you're probably to say something like "Dude, you're killing it. You've really struck a nerve. But a party can only handle so much of your awesomeness at once. Let's try to tone this down a bit."

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We've Met the Doofus. And He is Jeb

It goes without saying that it's probably not good politics to say your plan to move the country forward is that everyone needs to work longer hours. It approaches 47% level toxicity. Even more damning is that it makes zero sense in policy terms. Indeed, Jeb's 'work harder' prescription provides harrowing look at the level of derp that can be produced when you take a guy who isn't all that bright and push him to the head of the national leadership line without ever having put in an honest day's work or support himself in his life.

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The next big judicial challenge to the President's executive authority: will the courts strike down his big immigration executive order? There's a major appeals court hearing this Friday. And there are a lot of parallels to the contorted logic that got the King v Burwell case all the way to the Supreme Court. Andrew Pincus has the story.

Close to the Bone

There's a fascinating conflict of values, priorities and equities taking place now in Memphis, Tennessee. The Memphis City Council just voted unanimously to dig up and remove the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife from their current resting place in a city park. On the one hand (and I think probably on several hands), this starts to seem a bit excessive. It's one thing to lower a flag or relocate a statue. But while bodies are sometimes disinterred and relocated to new grave sites, there's a default level of respect and finality we accord to the resting places of the dead, quite apart from the political realities of the day. And yet, there's a bit more to the story.

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