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


Thanks to everyone for making the first day of our Prime sign-up drive a success. Before I get back to the news I wanted to mention one thing. If you signed up, definitely sign in. It may not have been the main reason you subscribed to Prime. But one of the first things you'll likely notice is that the Prime version of the site is faster and has dramatically fewer ads than the regular public version. You'll notice the difference right away. So I want to make sure you see it. Now back to our regular programming.

TPM Needs You

TPM needs you. It’s really that simple. To make this whole operation work we need a substantial amount of our revenue to come from our readers - it's a critical hedge against excessive or sole reliance on ad dollars.

So today we’re kicking off a drive to sign up new members for TPMPrime, our membership service for supporters of the site. There are a bunch of reasons to sign up for Prime. You get dramatically fewer ads on the Prime version of the site; no ads at all on mobile. You get access to our member discussion area, The Hive; longform articles, like our recent five part series on the rapid growth of renewable energy. But the best and most important reason is that we need you, our readers, to support what we do. You can sign up right here.

Prime has been around for three years. Until today we only had annual subscriptions for $50 a year. But today we’re rolling out a new monthly subscription. It’s $4.99 a month. That’s not much more than a fancy cup of coffee at the local Starbucks or whatever other boutique place you buy your Americano or latte or whatever else at. And that small monthly payment goes a really long way to keep us going and helping us make the site better. If you have friends who are TPM readers, let them know too.

Not convinced? There's no risk. You get a free three day trial. If you change your mind, just cancel.

If it’s all the same to you, we still much prefer annual subscriptions it’s more predictable for us in terms of annual budgeting and so forth. But we know that for many readers 50 bucks in one lump sum is a heavy lift. Or maybe you just want to try and not commit to a whole year. Whatever works for you works for us.

As a publisher and a lapsed historian, I can tell you that historically it’s been very, very rare that any publication survives without a substantial amount of its revenue coming from its readers. The Internet changed all of that. And today many publications get all their revenue from paid advertising. But almost all of them are either looking for ways to open up some sort of subscription or membership system or they have a huge corporation behind them. We're 100% independent. We just have you. There are no well-heeled foundations subsidizing us, no Daddy Warbucks who covers the bills. We need to cover it all ourselves. Luckily we have a great team that helps us do just that. But subscription revenues are critical. So can you take a moment right now to join us? I know I'm always like yeah definitely, I'll get to it. But can you take a moment right now and join us? It's really quick, easy and no risk. Just click right here.

Shorter Walker: Trump Must Be Stopped

Remarkable way for Scott Walker to end his campaign. He didn't name Trump explicitly, but clearly was referring to him when he lamented the GOP race being about personal attacks and what you're against, rather than the sunny optimism of Reagan and a race about what you are for. He then took the remarkable step of urging other candidates to consider withdrawing from the race, too, so Republicans can coalesce around a true conservative candidate. That is not Trump, obviously.

Read More →

Live By the Koch, Die By the Koch?

As much as I said he was pretty obviously done, Scott Walker's departure from the race sure seems abrupt and even premature. It's hard to have much hope when you go from a first tier candidate to significantly under 1%. Still, not only is it early but the race is so unsettled and chaotic, couldn't he have held out a bit longer? But David Kurtz reminds me of a key point about Walker. Going back to the early days when he was the new Governor of Wisconsin, Walker was always a creature of the Koch Brothers and like big donors. (There was actually a comical episode some of you may remember when a prankster called Walker up as "David Koch" and talking to Walker for something like an hour. He recorded the call and then made it public.)

Read More →

Really Says It All

Responding to ban on Muslim presidents controversy, Carson campaign says "Republican primary voters are with us at least 80-20."

Religious Liberty - What a Concept

You'll see in this latest piece we published that Ben Carson himself was rejected as a speaker at a Christian event because of his own religious beliefs. Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist. It's all a bit ironic coming after Carson said a Muslim shouldn't be President of the United States.

But the apparent disinvitation to Carson got me thinking because it brings up an issue that has always fascinated me. Seventh Day Adventists do not believe in heaven or hell or the immortality of the soul - which creates significant distance between them and most Chalcedonian Christians.

Read More →

Put a Fork in Him

Jeb Bush says a new TV ad attacking his brother, put together by an outside Democratic group, is "disgraceful." This comes after Jeb himself put out a meme after last week's debate embracing his "he kept us" safe line from his exchange with celebrity businessman Donald Trump. It's hard to see what exactly is "disgraceful" about criticizing the record of a former president just because he happens to be another candidate's brother. Indeed, as Amanda Marcotte notes here, the "he kept us safe" line is problematic on the merits, unless you consider the catastrophic 9/11 attacks the world's most epic presidential mulligan. Even post-9/11, which of course is what the defenders want to focus on, getting the country embroiled in the catastrophic and terrorism irrelevant Iraq War doesn't look like such a great idea in retrospect either.

But for the purposes of 2016, I'd argue that all these substantive points are borderline irrelevant.

Read More →

The South Shall Spel Again!

Pro-Confederate flag group trolls civil rights rally with a civil rights rally with aerial overflight message extolling the Confederacy. Alas, they misspelled the message.