Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., criticizes the House Republican healthcare reform plan as “Obamacare light” during a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Significant developments since the devastating CBO report was released just three hours ago: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has reiterated his opposition to what he called a “terrible” bill, and just now Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced that she too opposes the bill. Notably, both senators said they would vote against a motion to proceed to the bill. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) launched a spirited attack on the bill last week, in his home state, at a press conference with his own governor. So at this stage, assuming no wobbliness from one of these three, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lacks the votes to pass the bill. That’s not a small assumption: wobbliness can still happen. But as it stands now, McConnell has a lot of work to do.

We now need just 263 241 new membership sign ups by Friday to reach our goal of 22,000 total subscribers by the end of June. It sounds like just a number. But these goals are critical to building the future TPM we’ve been talking about. If you’ve been considering joining us, make today the day. Just set aside a couple minutes right now and click here.

There’s something emerging in the right-wing media, especially something from prominent voices in the right-wing media who talk regularly to talk to President Trump and his entourage. That is a new line of defense – public, if not legal – in the Russia probe which is basically this: “if Trump colluded with Russia, it wouldn’t be a crime. In fact, it might be awesome.”
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We’re getting the toplines out of the CBO score of the Senate Trumpcare bill. They’re bad. A slightly lower number of people losing their coverage over a ten year time horizon (22 million over 10 years). But the carnage comes dramatically faster. 15 million lose their coverage next year.

(We are just reviewing the details now. So this quick read may be subject to some revision. But this seems to be the gist.)

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with House and Senate leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Washington. From left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Trump, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R- Wis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Our team is going to be going all out this week to bring you every latest detail on the fight over Trumpcare and Obamacare repeal in the Senate. What’s happening. What it means. What to watch for. But I wanted to to start the week by just giving you my own sense of where things stand, based on years of watching and thinking about high-profile legislative battles.
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Willard Sterne Randall is a biographer of Benjamin and William Franklin, of Benedict Arnold, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Ethan Allen, and he has co-authored collections of biographies and e-books with his wife, the biographer and award-winning poet, Nancy Nahra. His newest book is called UNSHACKLING AMERICA: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution.

Willard will be in The Hive on Wednesday, June 28th at 1 PM EST for a chat on colonial American history, where he can discuss the continuing the impact the Founding Fathers have in today’s political sphere. Submit your questions at any time or join us on Wednesday! If you’d like to participate but don’t have TPM Prime, sign up here.

Monday is the first official day of our new TPM Investigations Desk. So our editors don’t kill me, I want to be clear that no one should expect a flood of exclusives on day or two or three or even in week one. We’re building a new part of the editorial team, a new editorial process within our organization. It will be an incremental build. One new reporter starts Monday. I expect a second member of the Investigations Desk to start in July. And with luck we’ll be able to add a third next month as well, though it may take until August for that.

The Investigations Desk is part of a broad recommitment to TPM’s tradition of muckraking and investigative digging. It’s by means only about the Russia investigation. But in the nature of things that will be a big focus for some time to come. With that in mind, I was spending some time today trying to articulate as concisely as I was able just what we’re looking for, just what we’re trying to find out.
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Back on June 19th, almost a week ago, I announced that we were 514 membership sign-ups short of our June goal of hitting the milestone of 22,000 total subscribers. I was highly uncertain we’d be able to get there by June 30th. But we’ve actually made pretty startling progress. We’re now 307 sign-ups short of our goal. So still possible, albeit a stretch. So now I’m even more focused on making sure we hit this milestone. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a member, please take a moment and make today the day. Every new member who joins puts TPM on a firmer footing, makes us more able to do what we do every day and up our game. It’s important. On the fence? Waiting for the right moment? Just take the plunge. You will be glad you did. Click here.

The big news this afternoon is that Sen. Heller of Nevada says he opposes the Senate’s current health care repeal bill “in this form.” It is important to understand what this means. It is not opposition to the bill. It’s a bid to negotiate. And beyond that, all but certainly it is an effort to extract some minor concessions that will be the justification for voting for the bill and making it law.
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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walks to their vehicle after visiting MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, where House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of La. was taken after being shot in Alexandria, Va., during a Congressional baseball practice. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

After firing the current White House Chief Usher, the person who oversees the White House residence staff, the Trump Family has now found a replacement. It’s Timothy Harleth, who comes to the Trump White House from the Trump International Hotel down the street. Harleth is currently “director of rooms” at Trump DC.

Here’s the announcement just out from the White House …
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People who follow health care policy discussions have known how crazy this is forever. But GOP criticisms of Obamacare for high deductibles and out of pocket costs have always been particularly duplicitous and dishonest since Republicans think out of pocket costs and deductibles should be higher! That’s just because they’re heartless, though on health care policy they are. It’s because the theory is that exposing people to the costs of their care will help reduce overall medical spending. (In limited doses, this is not a crazy theory.) In any case, Tierney Sneed has an update on how Republicans are now officially deciding that high deductibles and limited coverage is in fact awesome.

I suspect that some TPM readers are going to disagree with David Goodhart’s assessment of the youth vote in the British election and with his view of Jeremy Corbyn’s politics. I have a somewhat different take myself on the youth vote. But there are two things that I want to point out in this interview that I did with him about British politics. First, he is absolutely right to remind us that Theresa May and the Tories got their highest percentage of the vote since 1983. They failed to live up to expectations. And May made a mistake in calling the election. But the Tories remain Britain’s leading party.


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News comes today that despite President Trump’s heroic intervention to save the jobs of manufacturing workers at a Carrier plant in Indiana last winter, they’re basically all losing their jobs anyway.

From CNBC
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It’s still possible. Over the last three days we’ve signed up an average of 66 new Prime members each day. That leaves us looking for 324 new members by the end of this month to meet our goal for June. Even my once High School D-for-the-semester getting math skills tell me that’s possible over the next eight days (a weekend makes it a little less than eight full days). Thinking about becoming a subscriber? Take a moment right now and become our newest member. Just click right here.

I know I’m harping on this point. But again, the fallacy of policy literalism. It has always been crystal clear for numerous reasons that the Senate health care repeal bill would be the like the House bill, both versions, just as it will be like the final bill that emerges from a conference committee. McConnell and Ryan knew that ball hiding about scores and legislative language would prevent reporters from saying this: Around 24 million Americans will lose their coverage, everyone will go back to the era of pre-existing conditions restrictions and lifetime limits. The freed up money will go to a big tax cut for the very wealthy. You didn’t need to see the legislative language to know this. It’s been a failure of journalism to pretend otherwise.

The best analog to President Trump’s stance toward the Russia probe and his refusal to accept that Russian interference even happened is a husband who is suspected in his wife’s disappearance and repeatedly insists that she’s probably on a beach in Aruba having a good laugh at his expense.

In any normal circumstance, by any conventional standard, Trump’s attitude and actions are ones that are only consistent with guilt. He has not only repeatedly insisted on his innocence, which the innocent and guilty do in equal measure, but insisted that the crime itself never actually happened. On top of this, using his unique powers as President, he has repeatedly taken actions to end the investigation into his campaign. The most blatant example was firing the FBI Director with the stated goal of relieving the pressure of the Russia probe. But that’s just the most glaring example.
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Over the last two days I’ve seen several mentions of one argument about what happened in the Georgia 6 special election. Simply, it goes like this: Democrats were stupid because it was obvious they wouldn’t win as long as so many potential voters were disenfranchised either by felony disenfranchisement, onerous voter ID laws, permissive voter roll purges or other laws that limit voting. Nothing will change until that changes.

This is profoundly misguided and demoralizing when it comes to the effort to actually bring about change.
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This morning former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson testified before the House committee investigating Russia’s 2016 election subversion campaign. In the course of the hearing we heard the jarring information that Johnson only heard about the initial hacking into the DNC network sometime in 2016, months after the FBI first learned of the intrusion in the summer of 2015. Johnson said he was told that the FBI had contacted the DNC about the intrusion but was told “they don’t want our help.”

This sounds hard to fathom on a number of levels. There is no question that it delayed any more aggressive law enforcement posture as the hacking campaign continued and escalated over the course of 2016. Indeed, during the hearing, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) jumped in to press the point that the DNC was significantly responsible for what happened since it refused any involvement from federal law enforcement.

This also sounds bewildering. But remember: this isn’t the first we’ve heard about this story. It is a highly misleading rendition of what happened and absolves the FBI of its own pretty clear responsibility for what happened.
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We’re now down to 408 membership sign ups we need to get to our June goal! A tall order in 9 days but just barely doable. If you’re considering signing up for Prime, make it today. Just click right here. A strong, independent journalism organization is built on its relationship with its audience, a community of committed readers. 21,591 TPM Readers have become subscribers so far. We need more of you to come on board. Make it today: click right here.

Update: Now just 374!

Update: Now just 343!

Update: Now just 328!

President Donald Trump meets with Russian Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. At right is Russian Ambassador to USA Sergei Kislyak. President Donald Trump on Wednesday welcomed Vladimir Putin's top diplomat to the White House for Trump’s highest level face-to-face contact with a Russian government official since he took office in January. (Russian Foreign Ministry Photo via AP)

This morning I had the chance to read David Brooks column pooh-poohing the Russia probe and the scandal engulfing the Trump administration. There are many things I could say about it. But I’ve resolved to be nicer and less cutting in my writing, or to do the contrary only when it is inextricably tied to explaining and conveying points of substance. Certainly this is a resolution that won’t last long.
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We currently have 459 Prime membership sign ups to go before the end of the month to reach our goal for June – 22,000 total subscribers. That’s just barely doable. If you thought of signing up earlier, if you’re planning to, take a moment right now and become a member. It’s easy, just 14 cents a day, gives you an awesomer version of TPM and keeps us a vital, growing organization. Click here.

Update: Now down to 448!

Update: Now down to 418!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters as Republicans prepare to use their majority to confirm President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, despite calls from Democrats to delay until requested emails are released, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate Republicans are driving at a breakneck speed to abolish Obamacare and throw more than twenty million people off their health insurance coverage. The damage will be far greater when you figure in the loss of protections for people with pre-existing conditions and those who’ve benefited from various other Obamacare regulations. Senate Republicans’ main weapon in this effort has been total secrecy, which has had the effect of killing debate and discussion since there’s actually nothing concrete – no specific CBO score or legislative text or even outline – to discuss.

This, frankly, is silly.
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