Editor’s Blog

Righteous Act; Malign Purpose
FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2003 file photo photo, Jakiw Palij stands out in front of a building in the Queens borough of New York. Palij is among at least 10 suspected Nazi war criminals ordered deported by the United States who never left the country, according to an Associated Press review of Justice Department data.  (Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times via AP, File) - NO SALES - INTERNET OUT

Overnight the White House sent out a press release with a story that is at once familiar and novel. Early this morning, ICE deported 95 year old Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi SS guard at a labor camp in German-occupied Poland, to Germany. Palij’s story is a familiar one. He immigrated to the United States in 1949. He became a US citizen in 1957. In 2001, he admitted to Department of Justice officials that he had lied about his wartime activities when he came to the United States. In 2003, he was stripped of his US citizenship. He was ordered deported in 2004 and a appeal of his deportation order was denied in 2005. Read More

Very Important

If you’re a regular reader of this site, please read this post.

We’re about to kick off our annual Prime sign up drive. We’ve got a lot of critical news coming up over the next 2 to 3 months – Russia, the midterms and more. So we are going to do our best to keep this one short. But this is an absolutely critical one for us as an organization. This is a key part of the bigger shift in our business and publishing model I described earlier this month. We’ve gotten most of the way to where we need to get with our Prime numbers – we’re getting close to 28,000 subscribers. But we’re not there yet.

So here’s the pitch I need to make. I frequently talk to readers who tell me they’ve been meaning to sign up for Prime but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. If that’s you, please take the time to sign up in this drive. Just take the plunge. Now is the time. It’s easy. It’s cheap. It’s hugely important to our future as an organization. Simple as that.

Trump Asks for Support for ICE Against ‘Extreme Elements’
on August 17, 2018 in Washington, DC.

President Trump just released a letter he has sent to state and local leaders across the country (Governors, Lt. Governors, State Attorneys General, Mayors, State Legislators, Sheriffs) asking them to use “letters, public statements, op-eds, resolutions and events” to defend ICE and CBP against a “nationwide campaign of smears, insults, and attacks by politicians shamelessly catering to the extreme elements in our society that desire lawlessness and anarchy.”

Letter after the jump … Read More

Bret Kavanaugh Is A First Rate Hypocrite and Political Judge
UNITED STATES - JULY 19: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, makes his way to a meeting with Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., in Hart Building on July 19, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Washington Post just published the full text of a memo Bret Kavanaugh wrote in August 1998 about questioning then-President Clinton as the country hurtled toward impeachment. Most attention will focus on the list of sexually explicit questions he suggested asking the president when he was interviewed by the Independent Counsel’s Office. You can see those here. To me though, those are not the most telling. It’s what comes before the sex questions. Read More

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 24:  Fred Sands and Elliot Broidy attend Dedication And Celebration Dinner For The Fred Sands Institute Of Real Estate At Graziadio School, Pepperdine University at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on June 24, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Pepperdine University)
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‘Angry Democrat Thugs’

From one perspective we should ignore it. But from a deeper perspective it’s important to notch each step the President makes in the direction of cheap neighborhood gangsters and would be tyrants. His latest attack on the Mueller Special Counsel’s office refers to them as “angry Democrat thugs.” It goes to the point I made last week. We know Trump is guilty, as civic and public matter if not a narrowly legal one. We’re just having a hard time coming to grips with the fact.

Uri Avnery, Dead at 94

Some of us are blessed to live several lives in a single lifetime. Longevity is usually a prerequisite. But it goes far beyond that. Uri Avnery, Irgun fighter, tabloid publisher, peace activist, was one of those people. He’s died at the age of 94. Here’s his obituary in Ha’aretz. If you’re not familiar with him, it’s a life worth learning about.

Point of Origination

If you find yourself wondering where the “truth isn’t truth” meme started …

An Absolute Must Read

Interested in voting rights? The ugly and comic history of right wing fables about “voter fraud”. Here’s Rick Perlstein and Livia Gershon on how the GOP has been weaponizing “voter fraud” myths for decades to target minority voting. It’s Part 2 of of 2018 series on Democracy and Voting Rights.

No Manafort Verdict This Week

Manafort jury asks to go home early today. Deliberations will continue the rest of this afternoon and resume Monday. Here’s the latest.

Latest From Manafort Trial

A new note from the jury in the Manafort trial. We’re waiting to hear more …

Reports of the new note came shortly after a hearing on news orgs’ request to unseal records in the case, including the names of jurors. Alice Ollstein reports.

We Know Trump Is Guilty. We’re Having a Hard Time Admitting It

The greatest conceit in public life today is the notion that we don’t already know President Trump is guilty. Guilty of what? Conspiring, by whatever level of directness, with a foreign power to win the Presidency and then continuing to cater to that foreign power either as payback for the assistance or out of fear of being exposed. In other words, collusion, a national betrayal that may break some statute laws but which far transcends them and isn’t in the past but is rather on-going. Read More

Trump Military Parade Canceled?

The Pentagon announcement: “We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event [the parade] but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019.”

On its face that’s a postponement. But exploring opportunities next year sounds vague to the point of possibly not even happening at all.

An Anxious Wait

One of Paul Manafort’s lawyers is anxiously pacing around a hotel lobby. The other is charging his phone. Reporters are sitting around the same hotel or circulating in and out of the courthouse. After a three-week-long period of daily action during Paul Manafort’s financial crimes trial, now the lawyers, reporters and spectators are stuck in Alexandria, Virginia, with nothing to do but wait as the jury deliberates. It could take hours, or it could take days. Read Caitlin MacNeal’s reporter’s notebook (Prime access) with the latest →

This Happened

The GOP nominee for Governor in California compares the Holocaust to long lines at the DMV. “You know, I met a Holocaust survivor in Long Beach. He survived concentration camps, and he said this was worse. He’s 90 years old and he had to wait four hours down in Long Beach. Can you imagine that?” Story here.

Yes, I Agree

From TPM Reader JO

Great job by Tierney and Caitlin covering the Manafort trial. Their dispatches were every bit as good as Wapo, and generally better than the NYTimes. In particular, they showed a great touch for identifying the evidence that illustrated the prosecution’s game plan of corroborating Manafort’s knowledge and complicity with a thousand small lies and deceptions. Many news orgs just focused on the “drama” of provacative questions. Tierney and Caitlin recogized the broader patterns.

It would be truly shocking if Manafort is not convicted of many if not most counts. Of course, juries do crazy things, so we know until we know.

Again, fabulous job by the team.

Let’s Call It What It Is

Trump blacklists Brennan.

Trumpian Cognition and the Specter of the Russia Probe

When I wrote this post about Trump’s pre-Twitter, 2011-12 video blog I went back and watched a decent number of the mini-episodes. One of the things I watch for in watching these – just can’t help it – is his verbal focus and precision. (Here’s the video series I’m talking about.) Watch video of Trump from twenty years ago and it’s very, very different from the guy you see now. There was some of this in these videos from less than a decade ago. But there was something else that I noticed, something that took me a while to quite put my finger on because it’s the absence of something. Read More

Manafort’s Lawyers Make Their Case

We haven’t heard much from the defense during Paul Manafort’s financial crimes trial. Manafort’s lawyers didn’t call any witnesses or present any evidence. Now it’s time for them to make their closing argument. This is when we’ll finally get a sense of their theory of the case, such as it is. Tierney Sneed and Caitlin MacNeal are reporting from the court house. Stay tuned.

High Trust, High Fear: Inside the Dystopian Hellhole of Trumpism

Yesterday we decided to dig deeper into this matter of Trump White House NDAs. Kellyanne Conway said they all sign them in the Trump White House. Then President Trump confirmed the existence of NDAs for White House employees in one of his broadsides against renegade ex-employee Omarosa Manigault-Newman. I want to first discuss the NDAs and then some broader lessons we can draw about Trumpism from this latest turmoil. In this storm of back-biting, intrigue and betrayal we see in microcosm the world system on which Trump wants to build US relations with the rest of the world. But first, let’s discuss the NDAs. Read More

Trump Going the Stormy/Arbitration Route

Trump and the Trump campaign are using the NDA arbitration path that worked so well with Stormy Daniels with Omarosa.

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