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The Historic Cash-in Continues

We've got another. A long-stalled Trump building project in Georgia (the country) is back on track and ready to go just days after Donald Trump's election. That's major new nugget in a WaPo round up of how Trump's election less than three weeks ago is already turbocharging Trump building projects around the globe.

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Take a Moment to Join Us

As you emerge from your food comas I wanted to remind you that we are getting close to hitting our end of the year goal for expanding our membership numbers and thus our reporting ambitions for 2017. We are currently at 17,776 members; our goal is 20,000. We only have about five weeks left but we signed up 2112 new members so far in November. So it's doable, if still a very steep climb.

Take a moment to join us now by clicking here. If you're already a member, and would like to do more, consider purchasing one or more credit subscriptions for readers who can't afford the annual fee. I describe how it works here.

Thank You. We hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Hillz Helicopters Spied on Me!

This morning it was announced that KT McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst [Ed. note: Fox News terminated McFarland's contract in the wake of the appointment] and Reagan administration official will serve as Donald Trump's Deputy National Security Advisor. Well, she also tried to run against Hillary Clinton when Clinton ran for reelection to the Senate in 2006. She lost the GOP primary to John Spencer. But along the way she ... well, I don't quite know what to call it. But in addition to a seemingly lifelong penchant for dubious self-promotion and resume inflation McFarland claimed that Clinton was so worried about her candidacy that she sent secret helicopters to spy on her house in the Hamptons and also cased her apartment Manhattan. "Hillary Clinton is really worried about me, and is so worried, in fact, that she had helicopters flying over my house in Southampton today taking pictures."

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Democrats Begin to Focus

In the first days after President-Elect Trump was elected, a lot of Democrats didn't even seem to know what was coming down the pike with Paul Ryan's plan to phase out Medicare and replace it with private insurance and vouchers. But that seems to be changing. Sen Joe Donnelly (D-IN) released this video statement on Monday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke to former TPMer Greg Sargent at The Washington Post about Medicare. Now Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has released a similar statement. Meanwhile Kellyanne Conway is signaling that Trump is on board with phasing out Medicare.

Meanwhile here are a group of Republican Members of Congress and Senators who appear to be wobbly on the Ryan Phaseout plan. We're very curious to hear more about their positions and whether they will state clearly whether they're for or against. Reps. Lance Leonard (NJ), Charlie Dent (PA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), Pat Meehan(PA) and Sens. John Boozman (AR), Mike Rounds (SD), Marco Rubio (FL) and Shelley Moore Capito (WV). We will update you on others soon.

Under the Hood

Both Carrier and the Trump transition have confirmed that they are in talks about the fate of the Carrier air conditioner factory in Indianapolis which Carrier has said it plans to relocate to Mexico. This has sounds a lot like the Ford plant in Kentucky where Trump spun a minor but real change in one factory line into his saving a whole factory from being moved to Mexico. The factory was never slated to be moved to Mexico. But here's the backstory which is important to understand.

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A Word of Caution

There are countless reasons why people are upset about the results of the 2016 presidential election. The final tallies in the critical states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were extremely close. But we cannot help noticing that Green Presidential candidate Jill Stein's fundraising goals for recounts in these three states keeps rising as she brings in more money. The initial goal was for $2.5 million. That was bumped up to $4.5 million. Now it has been raised again to $7 million.

That's very fishy.

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Louisiana

We're assuming Republicans will have a 52-48 seat majority in the Senate next year. That's likely the case. But it's not a done deal yet. There's still one Senate race to be decided. It's the Senate runoff in Louisiana on December 10th. Louisiana is a pretty red state. And the most recent poll - albeit from a Republican polling firm - shows Republican John Kennedy with a big lead over Democrat Foster Campbell. But there are two big reasons why Democrats should move quickly to make a race of it.

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Don't Forget It Happened

This news should not surprise you if you've been reading TPM over the last year. It's something I've discussed a number of times in different contexts. But we're now getting the first comprehensive studies showing that Russian propaganda campaigns played a major role in spawning and in other cases simply spreading "fake news" stories aimed at damaging Hillary Clinton and aiding Donald Trump.

This Washington Post piece does a nice job in explaining some of the patterns which have emerged.

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He Can't Help It If He's Lucky

From the WSJ ....

Just days after Donald Trump secured the White House, the real-estate mogul scored a legal victory in a decadelong trademark dispute over the right to use his name in China for certain services.

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And There's Another

Huffpo found another. During his November 9th congratulatory call with Turkish President Erdogan, Donald Trump talked up his Turkish business partner who now seems primed to be a key intermediary between the two heads of state. This new revelation follows the pattern I mentioned a couple days ago: we're only finding out about this because it bubbled up in the pres of the country in question. That's how we learned about Trump's transition meeting with his Indian business partners, his alleged discussion of building permits with the President of Argentina, the UK wind farms and Nigel Farage.

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