With Devin Nunes now going to town over the “dossier” and trying to get the FBI to turn over materials from an active counter-intelligence and criminal investigation, we should remember the following. Whatever President Trump’s level of complicity in the Russian disruption campaign, there was a disruption campaign. Trying to disrupt the investigation may be something people think will protect Trump. But it impedes the actual investigation.
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Cam’s piece this morning on Democratic fundraising is a must-read. It also answered a key question for me. In every ‘the Dems will still blow it’ article I’ve read in recent weeks I hear that Republicans are beating Democrats in fundraising. Each time I read that I scratch my head because it certainly doesn’t square with what the political environment looks like. More specifically, I keep hearing that Republicans feel so under the gun about Obamacare because funders are simply refusing to keep giving unless the GOP can deliver some legislative victories. I also see example after example of Republicans retiring or considering retirement because they’re behind in the money chase. So what’s the deal? The key seems to be that the RNC actually is beating the DNC pretty handily. On every other front though, the Democrats are sporting the kind of big money advantage that usually presages big midterm gains. Read Cam’s report here.

Here’s a story in The Washington Post. On its face, it’s how things should work: bipartisan cooperation to make sure things run right. There seems to be bipartisan agreement that the board charged with providing financial oversight of Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy process should appoint an emergency manager to oversee the territory’s bankrupt power company, PREPA.
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I wanted to follow up on my post from last night about the latest news on the Steele Dossier. As I explained last night, the Democratic party’s top election lawyer, Marc Elias, deserves some kind of vast national, public thank you since his decision to fund the Fusion GPS/Steele research likely played a key role in blocking the ‘grand bargain’ and policy payoffs to Russia which President Trump was hoping to make in January and February of this year.

But let’s look at the follow-up story in The New York Times.
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President Donald Trump speaks to the winners from the National Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards Program, in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

I was offline for a few hours early this evening and returned to the media stream to find a new story reporting that the Steele Dossier and Fusion GPS’s research into Donald Trump and Russia was originally funded by a GOP campaign funder and then later funded by Democrats. In other words, we now know what we knew literally a year ago. Or to put it differently, Democrats agreed to fund continued research into Russia possibly owning Donald Trump after Republicans decided they didn’t care anymore.

Is this hyperbole? Not really. This is exactly what happened. And this has been known, widely reported, since before election day.
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I see no need to romanticize Jeff Flake. He has always struck me as having a personal decency that is recognized by many who don’t agree with his politics. He has also been much more willing than most of his colleagues to speak out against President Trump, even though he’s significantly more politically vulnerable than all but one of them. With all this said, he’s not just a conservative but a very conservative Republican.

For all his criticism, he has been a very reliable vote for President Trump.
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Roy Moore, GOP Senate candidate in Alabama, says the Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage was “worse” than its decision upholding slavery in Dred Scott.

Fascinating twist in the Bowe Bergdahl case. Bergdahl’s lawyers, not surprisingly, have raised the issue of now-President Trump repeatedly calling Bergdahl a “traitor” on the campaign trail. The military judge in the case allowed himself to be questioned by lawyers about his impartiality and insisted he could be impartial. But he had more questions about the perceptions of military justice created by Trump’s comments.
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Gerald Kominski is a Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. His research focuses on evaluating the costs and financing of public insurance programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Workers’ Compensation. Gerald received his Ph.D. in public policy analysis from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School in 1985, and his A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1978.

Gerald will be hosting a Q&A in the Hive to discuss health care, CBO scores, single-payer, and more! Post your questions and join us on Thursday. If you’d like to participate but don’t have TPM Prime, sign up here.

Robert Mueller is now looking into Democratic uber-lobbyist Tony Podesta as part of his probe into lobbying work tied to Paul Manafort. This is not part to the Russian tampering in the 2016 election but rather the 2012-14 era work in Ukraine that Podesta worked with Manafort on. Tierney Sneed has our story.

This latest news that Bill O’Reilly is blaming the death of the son of his former colleague Eric Bolling on sexual harassment claims against Bolling just makes me think we are in some no-holds-barred competition to see who can be the most terrible.

I don’t know if anyone can beat Bill O’Reilly in this competition.

I didn’t know anyone could make Eric Bolling sympathetic.

As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, authoritarianism and illiberalism are not new to American politics. Nor do we have to focus on the fact that for almost the first century of our history a substantial percentage of the country’s population was owned as property and were believed to have, as the Chief Justice of the United States put it, “no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” There was also a pronounced anti-democratic turn in American politics in the late 19th century; there were various political movements in the US in the early part of the century which qualify, both on the right and left; even our language of illiberal extremism remains largely defined by Richard J. Hofstadter’s 1964 essay ‘The Paranoid Style in American Politics.’

None of this is new.
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The sourcing on this seems somewhat opaque. But Mashable is reporting that Facebook is testing a new system which would remove publishers from your Facebook timeline unless the publishers pay Facebook. This, frankly, doesn’t terribly surprise me. It’s how monopolies operate.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook, announces the new iPhone X at the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Apple is in the process of introducing a series of features (or perhaps better to say, restrictions) to its Safari browser, along with the new version of its operating system OSX High Sierra, which promise to put serious obstacles in the way of advertisers tracking you across the web. There are countless ways this happens. But you see it most clearly when you go check out a new suitcase to purchase at some online vendor and then see suitcase ads following you around the web. Some people find this creepy and annoying. Others find it amusing and don’t care. Probably few consumers would mind seeing it go. But there’s some deeper stuff going on.
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I noted yesterday this great piece of reporting by Roll Call which essentially showed that the White House knew the President was lying from beginning about his claims about calling bereaved families. They then scrambled to get names and contact information from the Pentagon to retroactively make the President’s claims ‘true’ as soon as possible.

Now we have some good follow-on reporting from The Atlantic, showing how the White House started express shipping condolence letters as the crazy week of lies, disgrace and nonsense unfolded.
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Col. Jack Jacobs, a medal of honor recipient himself, says Gen. John Kelly should simply apologize. More broadly, I thought this brief discussion from him is a good meditation on the moral sewer of Trumpism and even more, Donald Trump himself. He damages and diminishes everyone.

This is amazing, comical, sad. From Roll Call

In the hours after President Donald Trump said on an Oct. 17 radio broadcast that he had contacted nearly every family that had lost a military servicemember this year, the White House was hustling to learn from the Pentagon the identities and contact information for those families, according to an internal Defense Department email.

The email exchange, which has not been previously reported, shows that senior White House aides were aware on the day the president made the statement that it was not accurate — but that they should try to make it accurate as soon as possible, given the gathering controversy.


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Today White House Press Briefing may turn out to be uglier than yesterday’s. Sarah Sanders just doubled down on the phony FBI building story, claimed Wilson said the really bad things off camera and then it was “highly inappropriate” to get into a “debate” with a Marine 4 Star General.

“If you want to go after General Kelly that’s up to you but i think that that … if you want to get into a debate with a Four Star Marine General I think that that’s something highly inappropriate.”

Why is most of the legitimate press ignoring that new Hillary/Uranium story Trumpers are going crazy about? Mainly it’s the story. But it’s also the byline: John Solomon. I explain with an Editor’s Brief (sub req).