If GOP Can’t Replace Obamacare It’s Their Own Fault, Trump Team Reportedly Planned Taiwan Call For Weeks, And Bannon’s Documentaries

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December 5th, 2016

Top Stories

Don’t Be Fooled: If Republicans Can’t Replace Obamacare, It’s Their Own Fault

The Gist: Making good on that whole repeal and replace Obamacare promise Republicans made years ago is getting dicey. Until the morning of Nov. 9, barely anyone thought they were actually going to have to overhaul a law that insures more than 20 million people.

Trump To Nominate Ben Carson To Lead Housing And Urban Development

The Gist: Trump announced that he will nominate former Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to be the secretary of housing and urban development.

WaPo: Trump Team Planned Call With President Of Taiwan For Weeks

The Gist: Trump’s advisers reportedly spent weeks planning an unprecedented call between the President-elect and the president of Taiwan as part of a new strategy toward Taiwan.

From The Reporter’s Notebook

President-elect Donald Trump announced on Friday the formation of a President’s Strategic and Policy Forum to advise him on job creation and the economy, TPM’s Esme Cribb reported. The list of members announced so far includes Mary Barra, CEO and chairman of General Motors, Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, and Jamie Dimon, CEO and chairman of JPMorgan Chase.

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: “Defensiveness, ignorance, impulsivity, considered aggressive behavior, on-going real estate negotiations? Not having a clear idea about which of these factors is driving decisions is and will be one of the joys of the Trump years. It is not as though any of this emerges against a backdrop of harmonious U.S. relations with China. In addition to the long-simmering friction over trade, the U.S. and China are currently engaged in a complex and increasingly perilous struggle over which country will be the dominant power in the maritime waterways of East Asia, through which a huge amount of the world’s trade flows. That was already plenty perilous under Obama’s more considered and deliberate management. It will unquestionably become more unpredictable and perilous now.”

Say What?!

“I don’t know. I’m not really focused on these things.”

– House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will not address whether he agrees with Trump’s baseless claim that he would have won the popular vote if “millions” of people had not voted illegally.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: “One thing that the stories I have read on the phone call don’t discuss is the Taiwanese President, Tsai Ing-wen. She is already suspect with the Chinese government because she was (until 2016) a supporter of full Taiwanese independence. In this year’s election campaign she toned down the independence rhetoric, in favor of a formula that she ‘accepted the status quo.’ In her Inaugural Address she pointedly did not refer in any way to the ‘1992 consensus’ which laid out the One China policy. China is not going to quietly acquiesce to Taiwan moving toward full independence, so the call must be seen in the light of a dangerous gambit by the neo-cons who favor a get tough with China approach and full independence of Taiwan (or maybe a restoration of the Kuomintang). These are the guys that worked to get Pres. Tsai to call and DJT to accept the call.”

Related: Trump’s call with the president of Taiwan marked the first call between leaders of the two countries since 1979. The call prompted China to issue a warning to Trump.

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What We’re Reading

Binge-watching Steve Bannon’s documentaries. (Politico)

Of nine tech companies, only Twitter says it would refuse to help build a Muslim registry for Trump. (The Intercept)