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Christie & Co's Pyrrhic Victory

Yesterday a New Jersey state judge ruled that - by a legal reasoning I still don't quite fathom - Gov. Christie's key BridgeGate aides don't have to turn over documents because it violates their 5th Amendment rights. It had always been my understanding that except for the narrowest of circumstances, the 5th protects you against testifying against yourself, not turning over probative documents in an investigation. But whatever the merits, the judge has spoken. And what that likely means - though no one has quite said so yet - is that the New Jersey state legislative investigation is probably over. There's just not much more they can do if they can't compel the key players to turn over more documents.

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Probably Wise

Rep. Vince McAllister has decided not to ask the FBI to blow the lid of his own scandal after all. Sounds like a good call - especially when you may have put your mistress on the government payroll. These non-criminal indiscretions tend to turn into crimes once the Feds take a hard look.

Sonny, When I Was Yer Age ....

Old time TPM writes in ...

TPM NAP ROOM? Makes me feel like a grandparent regaling the children about how many miles he used to walk to school, but back when I was a TPM reporter, I worked in a walkup apartment that was overrun with mice, the AC strained to keep you from sweating through your shirt in the summer months, and when I felt a little drowsy, I just asked an intern to slap me across the face. AND WE LIKED IT THAT WAY.

In our institutional defense, the office was only overrun by a single mouse. But when he died in the wall, I'll admit, that was pretty bad.

So What's the Plan?

I've been a little surprised at how relatively little thought GOP politicians and policy wonks seem to have given to living in a world in which Obamacare is successful and not going anywhere. 'Successful' of course is a very relative term. I don't expect Republicans to be cheering its awesomeness any time soon. But for the purposes of this discussion - functioning and creating a substantial constituency of people who have health care or have reduced cost and improved coverage because of Obamacare. We quickly seem to be moving in that direction, as evidenced by Republicans now insisting that repeal is no longer credible without an alternative that provides some version of the benefits and expanded care provided by Obamacare. Sahil Kapur looks at how conservative policy wonks are struggling to acclimate to the fact that the ACA appears to be here to stay.

Behold, The TPM Nap Room

The last 18 months plus has been a period of transition for TPM, on many levels. One thing we've tried to work on is improving the work experience of our employees - what it's like to work out of one of our two offices day in and day out. TPM is by design an intense place to work. Some of that is based on our being a small operation always trying to punch above our weight, compete against bigger operations. On a deeper level, though, it's simply in our institutional DNA. But intense work requires down time, a workplace environment that sustains that sort of commitment and intensity. We've made certain changes with that in mind and one of them is converting our former New York video studio into a nap room.

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