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Two Point Five Million

Here's your semi-recurring update: Hillary Clinton's popular vote lead has now reached 2.52 million votes. In percentage terms that's a 1.9 percentage point margin. It will rise at least a bit more. We can likely be confident that her final margin will be at least 2 percentage points. To compare, that's 5 times the margin of Al Gore's popular vote win in raw vote terms and 4 times his margin in percentage terms. At this point, not only did Clinton win the popular vote. It wasn't even all that close. When George W. Bush had another bite at the electoral apple in 2004 and finally did win the popular vote it was by 2.5 percentage points. Barack Obama's margin in 2012 was 3.9 percentage points.

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The Big Defense Dollars

Whatever else, there are a thousand Carrier employees and their families in Indianapolis today who are looking forward to a much happier holiday season than they were a week ago. Good for them.

So how did Trump do it? One big stroke of luck he had was having a Vice President-elect who is still the sitting governor of Indiana. Governors do deals like this all the time. That was key. But the Indiana Business Journal published a story today which adds the critical detail.

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World, Show Trump (and the Kids) the Money!

On CNN we just heard a law professor who is an expert on professional and government ethics explain why Trump's removing himself from the operation of his businesses is irrelevant in terms of what we now rather quaintly call 'conflicts of interest'. This is true, of course. And Richard Painter, former Bush White House ethics counsel and now a Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota, says that turning over ownership to his children, which Trump has not agreed to do, "would be a very, very good move in the right direction."

This is no doubt accurate, as far as it goes. But it doesn't go very far.

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This Explains How and Why Medicare Will Live or Die

Today two of our reporters were up on Capitol Hill looking for answers to what was afoot on the Medicare Phaseout and Obamacare fronts. I was particularly interested in the former. And Tierney Sneed was able to get some very key information from Sen. John Boozman (R) of Arkansas.

Boozman was already on our list of Medicare wobblers based on his office's responses to constituents. But Arkansas is also one of the poorest state's in the country. By various metrics, it's a state particularly reliant on programs like Medicare. So where does Boozman stand?

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Romney: "[Trump] continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together."

Life Comes at You Fast

Donald Trump and Mitt Romney share dinner tonight at Manhattan restaurant Jean Georges. We've seldom had a more poignant evocation of the anguish of becoming a Trump dignity wraith.

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Medicare Up for a Vote

Schumer plans to make Rep. Price's confirmation hearing for HHS a into a showcase for and proxy battle over Trump and Ryan's plans to phase out Medicare and replace it with private insurance and vouchers. That's a good idea. But we still need to know where everyone in Congress stands, everyone in both house of congress. Here's the list so far. Lots of members are giving shifty, changing answers to constituents, unwilling to give any clear answer to reporters.

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Ask Your Questions About Finance And The Economy Under Trump!

We’re excited to announce that White House economic policy reporter Ylan Mui will be visiting the Hive for a live chat. Ylan covers the Federal Reserve and the economy for the Washington Post, and previously wrote about subprime lending, consumer finance, retail and education. She is a graduate of the Asian American Journalists Association’s Executive Leadership Program and former vice president of the AAJA’s Washington D.C. chapter, and was an adjunct journalism professor at the University of Maryland. Ylan will be answering your questions on Trump's picks to lead the Treasury and Commerce departments, what his plans to cut back Wall Street regulations could mean, the casualties of his promise to rip up trade deals, and more. Drop those here at or before 2 p.m. on Thursday and stop by then to chat! If you'd like to participate but don't have Prime, join here.