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From The Reporter’s Notebook
Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, told reporters on Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump met with him to ask if Bharara would stay on in that role during his administration. As TPM’s Esme Cribb reported, Bharara has made white collar crime a main focus of his tenure since his 2009 appointment. He once described corruption in New York politics as “downright pervasive,” and said it felt like a scene from the movie “Groundhog Day” every time a New York politician was arrested. He has pursued corruption cases against several New York state politicians, including former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D), who was convicted last year of trading political favors for $4 million in kickbacks and bribes.
Agree or Disagree?
Josh Marshall: “Many Republicans can see the political danger of touching Medicare. No one campaigned on this in 2016. Support for phasing out Medicare and replacing it with private insurance and vouchers is minimal outside libertarians and conservative ideologues. That’s why word play about ‘reform’ and averting ‘bankruptcy’ and ‘saving Medicare’ are the catch phrases. If anyone said, ‘We have an idea to have seniors get private insurance instead of Medicare and a check from the government to pay part of the cost’ they’d be laughed out of whatever room they were in. What’s most salient is that it is toxic within the coalition around which Donald Trump has at least temporarily remade the GOP.”
“Brilliant! Divestiture is good for you, very good for America!”
– The Office of Government Ethics took to Twitter to give Trump some very pointed advice about reconciling his business conflicts.
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: “Then came the Great Recession. People we knew and worked with and whose kids played with our kids fell into the hole and lost their homes to foreclosure. Family members teetered on the brink or went over the edge because some greedy bastards somewhere wanted even more when the rest of us were already four paychecks away from crisis. Insecurity breeds fear. This election was a reaction to that fear and a rejection of business as usual. We’ve been starved as a society and we’re retracting into ourselves for own little separate peace. It’s a failure thirty-five years in the making and it will take time before we view America as our society worth growing with rather than receding from.”
Related: Some Senate Democrats were harshly critical of Donald Trump’s pick for treasury secretary, the latest in a line of financial elites tapped for his cabinet.
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What We’re Reading
Confessions of an Instagram influencer. (Bloomberg)
Starting next year, Trump can send unblockable mass text messages to the entire nation. (New York Magazine)