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See You Soon

After Labor Day we’ll begin a fourteen month, jagged, probably ugly and immensely consequential dash toward the 2020 presidential election. Primary campaign will turn to real live primaries, then conventions and soon enough we’ll be at the big moment. Before that I’m off for a week away with my family, hopefully to recharge, read, and gain whatever perspective we gain from deep inactivity.

As always you are in good hands with the rest of the TPM Team. See you soon.

A Few Thoughts on Feral Dweebs

As you may have seen I’ve been calling the parade of incel/rightist/white nationalist mass shooters or would-be mass shooters “feral dweebs.” I mainly attach this description because it is accurate. Loners, angry, awkward, failures, sexually frustrated, women- and minority- and Jew-hating. It seems like a popular tag for these guys. But unsurprisingly and I think understandably, some people say it makes light of something that is literally deadly serious.

Today’s Agenda: Halperin’s Comeback Tour Prompts Backlash
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Happy Monday, August 19. Disgraced political pundit Mark Halperin is attempting a comeback after being accused by numerous women of groping and making unwanted sexual advances — and it’s prompting some blowback. Here’s more on that and the other stories we’re watching.

Respect and Aggression
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In this week’s podcast we talked about the Chris Cuomo/Fredo story and that got me onto a topic I’ve thought about for a couple decades — one tied to my fascination with American regionalism and aggression. Back in the 1990s, psychologists at the University of Michigan conducted a study about regionalism and aggression. As is often the case, the “real” study took place before the participants actually thought it was happening. The participants are all white male college students. They are walking down a hall when an apparent bystander thoughtlessly bumps into him while closing a file cabinet and calls him an “asshole.”

Organized Lying

The House GOP leadership has circulated talking points to its members instructing them to respond to questions about mass shootings by claiming they are all motived by people “from the left.”

Read This
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Be sure to read this note from TPM Reader AS

I was among the scores of protesters at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island last night. Like many, I left before a guard at the facility drove his truck into a crowd of my fellow activists, and his colleagues pepper-sprayed others. But I was hectored as I was leaving, and I felt the sense of menace in the air. To call the atmosphere “tense” would be an understatement.

Today’s Agenda: It’s The Economy, Stupid
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Happy Friday, August 16. President Donald Trump is fretting about gloomy economic forecasts, and how they may affect his reelection bid. Here’s more on that and the other stories we’re watching.

Looking at the Boffo New Fox News Poll
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I always have to remind people that, Fox News withstanding, the Fox News poll is legitimate and respected. There’s a mountain of information in the one released this afternoon. (Full results here.)

You may have seen the toplines. Trump fails to get to 40% against any of the top Democratic contenders.

Trumpism Spreads
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From TPM Reader BW (Ben Waxman):

I have to say, McSwain’s comments today were pretty shocking, even to me. I’m not a casual observer– I was Krasner’s spokesperson throughout the campaign and transition. And then I was the Director of Communications for DA Krasner & and the Philly DA’s Office until the end of May.

McSwain has taken a number of shots at Larry over the past year, even adopting a case that he felt was handled too leniently by the DAO. It was unusual but all within McSwain’s power as a federal law enforcement official.


Nothing would do more to bolster the number of Christians in the U.S. than embracing undocumented immigrants.

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