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

Marco Rubio Has The Jokes?

For the last six years I've been the odd man out when it comes to appreciating the innate political skills of Marco Rubio. Just didn't see it. I tried. It was actually a little frustrating. Why couldn't I see what so many colleagues took as a given? So I'm a bit relieved that I find the post-politics Rubio genuinely funny. There was his joke last week with our Lauren Fox, and then last night's hilarious Twitter rant. Don't ruin this for me by telling me he's not really that funny. I need this.

Site Update

A number of readers wrote in over the weekend saying they had tried to sign up for Prime but were unable to. We also heard from others who weren't able to sign into the site. Those issues should both be fixed now. So buy all means sign up for Prime and sign in to the site. Here's the story. We rolled out a major retooling of the site architecture over the course of last week. That introduced a few glitches that we were able to get fixed over the weekend or by the end of yesterday. A lot of you should see a faster site, especially on the front page. If you've continued to have any of these problems please let us know. Otherwise, definitely sign up for Prime! And of course sign in.

Big Bidness

TPM Reader RC takes a disturbing and revealing look at the coming economic boom in the expulsion/interment camp industry when Trump's mass expulsion gets underway. My only quibble is that since Trump says he'll deport 11 million people in 18 months, it would be a shortlived industry. But estimates put the price tag at half a trillion dollars. So it would be a true bonanza for the contractors ...

I've been wondering the same thing, but since I'm a planner and an architect, I've been wondering about it more on a physical and infrastructural level than about who supports it.

Ultimately, I think Trumps' mass deportation will be credited with a sort of economic boom, at least for some sectors, in an even larger way than a massive infrastructure program might. Since I haven't seen others analyzing what the program would actually entail, I decided to do some rough calculations based on land use, detention center size, and logistics to come up with one idea of how the camps might work. In my view, the mass expulsion industry will supplement prison privatization, and will likely become some of the most lucrative (and--by nature of their newness, their variation by state, and their immediate implementation--the most corrupt) government contracts available.

Read More →

Parsing the "Endorsement" Nonsense

Freshman Senator Ron Johnson looks to be one of the most vulnerable and, by most accounts, dumbest senators up for reelection this year. I caught wind of some Republican lobbyist/donors basically washing their hands of him a few months ago after hearing his plan to run hard on the SCOTUS blockade in his battle for reelection. It's debatable how much harm the blockade will do Republicans in November (I think a fair amount); but no one who's not an imbecile thinks it's going to be a help in a blue or purple state election.

Read More →

I Want to Know More About Mass Expulsion

I mentioned last week that Donald Trump's pledge to deport all undocumented immigrants in the country - 11 million people or about 3% of the population - in 18 months has largely dropped out of the national news narrative even though we still hear about the Muslim ban and the border wall almost every day. That doesn't mean no one is talking about it, of course. I know people are. But I'm talking about the elite news media narrative, what's getting asked and discussed and so forth.

I want to find out more about where Members of Congress, Governors and major candidates for those offices stand on this issue. As I wrote last week, in immediate terms, it's the most consequential of Trump's major policy proposals in terms of human suffering, economic consequences, constitutional violations. So where do people stand? If you see press references to anyone in the group noted above getting asked about this question, answering in support or opposition, please drop us a line at our main comments address which is linked just below the TPM logo at the top of the page.

Worse Than Obama!

A GOP consultant tells Lauren Fox that Trump is worse for down ballot Republicans than Obama was for down ballot Dems in 2014: "Honestly, we are in such uncharted waters. We have never had anyone like this before ever. I cannot think of anything that is even remotely close to this. Everyone has to feel this thing out on their own."

More from Lauren on how Senate Republicans up for re-election are feeling their way forward in the new Trump terrain.

Wait! What? Trump Only Makes $500k a Year?

News comes today that Donald Trump is digging in his heels on not releasing his tax returns ever, telling George Stephanopoulos "it's none of your business" how much tax he pays or at what rate. But last night TPM Reader JJ sent in a link to a ... well, it's just a harrowing revelation that makes me think that actually releasing his tax returns could be like heading to the ego guillotine for Trump.

Some clever sleuthing by Crain's New York Business reveals that Mr Trump, as members of the entourage call him, qualified for a tax break that requires your income be less than $500,000 a year. Yes, if you make more than half a million dollars a year, you can't qualify. But Trump did qualify.

Read More →