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

Feel the Foreboding

If you've read my editors' blog posts over the years, you likely know that I am at heart a small-c conservative and instinctive institutionalist. There are up and down sides to that way of approaching the world. But it's a posture that colors my reactions to most things. On that front, last night's events in the UK fill me with no little foreboding. Sure, the pound was in free fall over night. The British equities market is getting hammered. Those are likely transitory events - at least the instability, if not the absolute values. But look a bit further down the road.

Look at the map.

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So Mark Cuban & I Had a Chat About Trump

As you know, I've been piecing together what we know about Donald Trump's Potemkin $10 billion real estate, tie and steak empire. Mark Cuban is an actual billionaire and friend or frenemy of Trump's. And he's been increasingly public in his suspicions about Trump's wealth too. Cuban and I had an email exchange sharing notes and trying to figure out why Trump seems so hard up for cash. Here's the exchange.

My Thoughts on Brexit

Before the results are in, I just wanted to say a few words on Brexit, Britain's proposed exit from the EU. This is an issue for the British. But it is an issue that I think everyone has some right to chime in on since it will have a real effect on the whole global economy, and real effects in the US since Britain and the EU are among the United States' largest trading partners. In short, the idea strikes me as simply crazy.

Here's why.

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So Much More Than Just Prisons

Today we're publishing part two of our series on privatization. I think you will really like it. It's about the so-called "corrections industry". But what it shows is that the corrections industry is about way, way more than just prisons. To use the jargon of industry, the corrections industry has managed to scoop up business along the whole supply line, from the moment of arrest to the last check-in with the parole officer. Read this. You'll find it very eye-opening.

Will Corbyn's Unreserved Opposition to Brexit Doom the Labour Party?

I remain an agnostic on whether it would be better for the United Kingdom to be inside or outside the European Union. I find some of the economic arguments for “Remain” Chicken-Little-ish, but who am I to say whether a major decision like that could have dire economic consequences? I am also no expert on British politics, but I do have a sense from afar of what the vote could mean for the Labour Party. And it's not good.

I have watched interviews with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and read articles about his position favoring “Remain,” and what strikes me is that in being unwilling to acknowledge that supporters of “Leave” might have a genuine case, he is further distancing the Labour Party from its traditional working class base. In Britain, as in the United States, many of these voters are up in arms about immigration and about runaway shops; and in Britain, contrary to what Corbyn says, the EU is implicated in these issues.

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For Trump, Almost Normal

I don't know if you heard Donald Trump's anti-Hillary speech this morning. It was filled with a slew of demonstrable falsehoods about Hillary and this very overheated argument about Hillary being responsible for the deaths of thousands and using the State Department as her own "private hedge fund." A reader wrote in this afternoon to ask for help understanding what Trump was even trying to say with that remark. I didn't get a chance to respond to her yet. But the gist I think is that there's no there there to understand. The point is that Hillary's a crook, uses any position in government as a way to enrich herself and is just generally awful. Tossing in "hedge fund" is nothing more than Trump's permanent need to act out dominance politics via hyperbole, even when it's devoid of any actual meaning. And yet, once you got past the febrile Hillary bashing, the most notable thing about the speech was how relatively normal it was.

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Epic Disaster

The guy who used to be charged with winning Senate seats for Republicans looks at Trump's funding numbers and tells our reporters: “My sense is that it is like an epic disaster that is going to get worse."

Yep, Definitely a Billionaire

Donald Trump tonight sent out what he describes as "the first fundraising email I have ever sent on behalf of my campaign." And he's going to make sure it's historic by "by personally matching every dollar that comes in WITHIN THE NEXT 48 HOURS, up to $2 million!"

You got that right, Trump is willing to put as much as $2 million of his own money into his campaign (though no word whether this is a contribution or a loan). Email after the jump.

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