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David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

I don’t know if Stoneman Douglas will be what finally breaks the NRA’s stranglehold on the Republican Party. History suggests not. If not Newtown, then what?

But I have slowly come around to the idea that when the stranglehold does finally break it will likely be fast and dramatic and far reaching.

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Watching the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre hold forth at CPAC–carried live on the news nets–is a good reminder that while it carefully crafts an image as a membership association of gun owners, the NRA is really a house organ of the Republican Party. What I’m saying isn’t new. The reporting documenting the NRA’s shift under LaPierre has been out there for years. But listen to his rhetoric. This isn’t about guns or gun rights.The Second Amendment argument, as anathema as it is to many people, is window dressing. It’s about using “guns” as a political cudgel, using “guns” to catalyze the resentments and grievances of conservatives, using “guns” as a bulwark against political threats to the Republican Party. Plain and simple.

There are some vague signs, inklings really, that today’s guilty plea by former Skadden Arps lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, the London-based Dutch son-in-law of Ukrainian-Russian billionaire German Khan, could be more significant than first appears. Emphasis on “could.”

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The other indictment from Special Counsel Robert Mueller today was also a surprise. A plea agreement had already been reached, and a plea entered in federal court in DC. That all happened earlier this week. Not a peep.

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It’s worth noting the remarkable stagecraft involved in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, acting attorney general for the Russia probe, deciding to announce today’s indictments (watch the whole thing here).

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TPM is hiring a Newswriter to work in our New York City office. This is an entry level, junior editorial position writing primarily for TPM’s LiveWire.

TPMLivewire is the tip of the TPM breaking news spear, covering the news in real time using a combination of aggregation and original reporting to keep readers up to speed on the latest developments in TPM’s coverage areas.

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You can measure how badly the White House is handling the Rob Porter abuse case by watching the incensed reaction of Amanda Carpenter, a former staffer to Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), just now on CNN.

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LiveWire