Editor’s Blog

A Bad Day for Beto
WASHINGTON, DC - July 12:  Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) offers an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for approval so it can be debated on the floor of the House on July 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

This was Beto O’Rourke’s big day. But I think it went pretty badly for him, though perhaps not in ways that will be immediately obvious.

This may sound odd since he got some good press, got the ritual insult from the President and landed a number of endorsements right out of the gate. But it’s the endorsements themselves that suggest a problem. Right out of the gate O’Rourke won the endorsement Kathleen Rice, the Long Island Rep most recently notable for leading the Moultonite faction which tried to deny Nancy Pelosi the Speakership by threatening the vote against the caucus’s choice on the House floor. Read More

Lest We Forget

Violence has always been at the root of Trumpism.

Stunning Development

The Southern Poverty Law Center has fired its founder, Morris Dees. Dees cofounded the SPLC in 1971.

Your Career on Trump

12 Republicans broke with the President in this border emergency vote. But what jumps out to me is that Cory Gardner, almost certainly the most vulnerable Republican in 2020, voted for Trump. Thom Tillis of North Carolina did too, though he’s in a much better position for reelection than Gardner. He even penned an oped opposing the President on this before flipping. Read More

Neo-Moultonism?

Striking to me that Beto appears to be quickly coalescing as the ‘moderate’/’centrist’ Dem presidential candidate for 2020.

Bernie Curious?

From a Vermonter TPM Reader …

I’ve never had much good to say about Bernie as presidential candidate, despite ——- resolute support of him against Hillary. Part of that, though not all of it, arose from the observation (I think of it as a fact) that Bernie was a lazy, selfish candidate. His soi-disant “policy proposals” were little more than bumper-sticker slogans (“Break Up the Banks!”), and the ones he did flesh out a bit (e.g., “College for Everyone”) were, shall we say, lacking in actual understanding of how things actually work.

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There It Is

Lawyer for Mar-a-Lago massage parlor mogul says client is a victim of anti-Trump politics. What also seems revealing is that Yang’s lawyer has already held a fundraiser for Roger Stone’s legal defense fund. So she seems to part of the team.

Notable

Beto O’Rourke got an endorsement right out of the gate this morning from New York Rep. Kathleen Rice (D).


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More Clues

This certainly seems like a strong sign that the Special Counsel’s Office is wrapping up its business.

Are the NY State Charges Shoddier Than They Look?

[Request for opinions and guidance from lawyers and especially ones working in New York State toward the bottom of this post.]

Let me share a few thoughts and tips on the new Manafort charges from Manhattan, DA Cy Vance, Jr. They are twofold. Prosecutors I’ve spoken to seem close to unanimous that the indictments appear poorly drafted. Perhaps this is just the first bite at the apple and they’ll be revised or tightened. I don’t know. But related to that and likely more important: at least some of those with experience in New York State are skeptical whether at least some of these charges will survive New York State’s double jeopardy statute. Read More

Fast Times in Port Richey

If I understand this story correctly, Port Richey, Florida just had its second mayor arrested in the last three weeks. The first wasn’t your standard mayoral arrest. Mayor Dale Massad was arrested when he opened fire on a SWAT team that had come to arrest him on charges of practicing medicine out of his home without a license. Sheriff Chris Nocco said Massad was a violent drug user who kept a stash of weapons in his home, had had previous run-ins with the law and lost his medical license 25 years ago after a three year old patient died. Read More

So Much To Discuss

Catch up on the Cindy Yang story and the rush of white supremacist and neo-nazi news in my conversation with Allegra Kirkland, Josh Kovensky and David Taintor. You can listen here.

Mark Harris listens to the public evidentiary hearing on the 9th Congressional District investigation Monday morning, Feb. 18, 2019, at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh.
The Moment That Did In Mark Harris Prime Badge
Manafort Sentencing Imminent

Paul Manafort’s sentencing hearing is about to resume. We should hear the sentence shortly. Live coverage here.

Will Paul Get Lucky Twice?

Tierney Sneed is liveblogging Paul Manafort’s sentencing hearing this morning in Washington, DC. Watch it here.

Some Notes on Voting, Ethnicity, Religion and Race

Over the last few days, as part of his continued attacks on Jewish Democrats, President Trump has insisted that American Jews are streaming out of the Democratic party. We have a century of statistics on these issues. In fact, the exact opposite is happening. In 2012, 2016 and 2018 the percentage of Jews voting for Democrats has gone up in each cycle, from 69% in 2012 to 79% in last November. But I thought this was a good opportunity to look at Jewish voting demographics in the context of the increasing racialization of voting in general.

Here is the breakdown going back to 2008. I haven’t included midterms except for the most recent election. Exit polls aren’t the only or necessarily the best way to count vote breakdowns for ethnicity and race. But they’re a good broad indicator. And they provide good baselines of comparison. Read More

Manafort Sentencing, Part Deux

Paul Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. ET. This is the DC case, separate from the Virginia case he was sentenced in last week. TPM’s Tierney Sneed is at the courthouse and will be bringing the proceedings to you in real time. You can find her here.

Fathers and Sons

My favorite part of Allegra Kirkland’s run-down (P) of the Ricketts family’s other problems hanging out with racists and white nationalists is when she notes that family patriarch Joe Ricketts has some very bigoted views on Muslims and Barack Obama, as revealed in some earlier leaked communications. Son Pete Rickets is the one who we found out yesterday had an anti-Semite and white supremacist on his campaign staff. But in fairness, she notes, when son Pete found out about father Joe’s backward and bigoted views he did send his dad a Snopes article debunking stereotypes about Muslims.

You’re The Critical Part of This

For almost two decades I’ve told you about the importance of your emails. We want your feedback, your commentary, your criticisms. But there’s really nothing we want more than your tips. People tend to focus on secret information, sometimes super secret information that people can lose their jobs or even lives over. If you’ve got something like that by all means contact us for a secure channel to send us the information. But most tips are far more prosaic. They’re not even really secret at all. Matt Shuham has a quick note here about how a TPM Reader tipped us off to a Virginia congressman deceiving his constituents about how he voted on Trump’s emergency declaration. Read More

A Third Line of Business!

Very nice piece of sleuthing here from Josh Kovensky: Cindy Yang, the massage parlor baron at the center of the Mar-a-Lago pay to pay story also hawks EB-5 visas, the ones that allow you to buy a green card for making certain investments in the US.

Caught!

Nice find here from Matt Shuham that started from a reader tip. Freshman Rep. Denver Riggleman has been sending out constituent letters claiming he voted to override President Trump’s emergency declaration. Actually he voted to support it.

More on Impeachment

TPM Reader JB on the impeachment question…

I’ll bet you’ve been inundated with….comments, let’s call them, about your take on Pelosi negative remarks toward impeaching the President we have now.

Impeachment, of course, is a political process. It’s also a process used so infrequently that assessing its political impact cannot be reliably done. Preparing impeachment proceedings would be a considerable undertaking for the House; they would need to rest on findings of several committees now investigating Trump for various things, plus Mueller’s. And there is every reason to think that Senate Republicans, regardless of the facts uncovered or the charges against Trump, will spare no effort to remain loyal to their Leader.

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They Speak

We’ve now heard from one of the 23 Republicans for voted against the anti-semitism, anti-racism, anti-hate bill. Mo Brooks of Alabama says he voted no because the resolution didn’t condemn discrimination against white people and Christians.

Did Pelosi Fold?

There is quite a lot of perplexity and disgruntlement that Nancy Pelosi has apparently ruled out impeachment, saying Trump’s “just not worth it.” This has led to a number of theories. Possibly Pelosi has received some intelligence briefings that touch on the Mueller probe and she knows that the final verdict won’t be strong enough to sustain an impeachment. Perhaps she worries about impeachment spurring an even deeper round of polarization which will hurt the Democrats in the 2020 elections. Perhaps she simply wants to get out ahead of a Mueller Report with a firm line in the sand to prevent a headlong rush to impeaching the President.

I don’t know Pelosi’s character or thinking well enough to know precisely which of these it is. I can’t know what’s motivating her. But her statement yesterday seemed far less momentous or consequential to me than it appears to have seemed to almost everyone else. Read More

Trump’s Epic History of Coddling, Promoting and Refusing to Denounce Anti-Semitism

President Trump is the most successful, prominent promoter of anti-Semitism in American history. Certainly he is the only president who has ever compiled such a record.

I wanted to put together just a handful of examples of this. I ignored the voluminous examples of avowed anti-Semites promoting and supporting the President as their candidate. I’m not included accounts in books of anti-Semitic smears and comments from Trump. I’m also not including numerous statements about Jews in which he makes American Jews simply an extension of Israel, comments which feed into a long history of anti-Semitic discourse but are at least notionally framed as praising Jews and Israel. I’m referencing things he’s done publicly over the last three plus years. Just a few examples. Read More

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