One key goal of our new front page design was that we wanted to get “Livewire” back to what it began as years ago: short, fast nuggets of news as they develop. That’s where we’ll be doing most of our breaking updates out of the Kavanaugh hearings today. You can see that over on the right rail of the front page. Or you can go to the Livewire page here.
A few times over the last month I’ve had the sense that I may actually struggle to acclimate to a post-Trump politics. That doesn’t mean I don’t want it or look forward to it. As basically every sensible person has argued, the rise of Trump has been a catastrophe for the United States and every day he remains in office inflicts greater damage. But recently I’ve been thinking back to the Obama years and – crazy as they often seemed – how comparatively placid they were, even though they were not really placid at all. But the sheer intensity, drama, bad-acting nature of Trump’s presidency is in an entirely different category.
As I wrote before Trump even became President, living with a Trump presidency, at least if your work is politics, is comparable to living in the home of an abuser or someone with a severe personality disorder. People who live in those settings develop tools, coping mechanisms to handle that level of emotional turbulence, aggression, craziness. They can require a degree of unlearning once they find a more healthy environment. The tools you develop living in close proximity to an abuser are usually mal-adaptive when the abuser is no longer present. Read More
Argh. I should have reminded you yesterday! We set an extremely ambitious goal for the first week of our annual Prime membership drive: 1000 new members. We defined the end of the first week more or less arbitrarily as Sunday, yesterday. And we got to 990! I was a little crushed when I checked the numbers this morning. But the truth is this is still an amazing number and gets us a big chunk of the way to our goal for the entire drive. So thank you. In that spirit I’ve decided to extend the notional week for on additional day, today. So if you feel like Labor Day is the day to finally sign up for Prime, there’s no better day than today. Just click right here.
For the Prime buffs and/or journalism buffs among you, there are now 28,835 paying Prime members.
The news that alleged Russian agent Maria Butina was trying to partner with the wife of the former President of the NRA and CPAC on a ridiculous and massive oil deal with fuel from Russia is entirely, wholly expected, entirely to form. The original Times story actually contains this line, which is revealing on a number of levels: “During her time in the United States, she surrounded herself not only with high-profile American conservatives but also with dubious characters who seemed bent on making a fast buck — and it was not always easy to tell one from the other. Read More
Yesterday we were 220 sign-ups away for our goal of 1000 new sign-ups for the first week of our annual Prime sign-up drive. Now we’re at 132. We can totally get there. I just noticed as I was starting to write this post that The Village Voice is shutting down for good. That caught my attention in a big way. There’ve been so many stories like this over the last couple years — publications that either went under or are living on as zombies, names bolted on to some new shabbier thing, shaming what they once were. It is probably always tempting to use fear as a motivator. But I won’t do that and indeed cannot do that. Because that’s not going to happen to TPM. I raise the example of the Voice because the reason I can be so confident is precisely because we here at TPM — us and our readership — have already come so far in building a business model that highly, highly insulates us from the forces in the advertising, tech and platform industries which are destroying so many publications. This is why you see me writing all these posts, joking, finger-wagging, descriptive, antic, thoughtful. Because I believe so much in what we’re doing. We are not simply surviving. We are building and we have confidence in the future because we started early building a different kind of model which is better for journalism, better for business and better for everyone who either as a staffer or as a reader has a relationship with this site. But we need to get the whole way there. So if you haven’t subscribed yet take this moment to do it. Click right here.
This isn’t necessarily a popular position among critics of the President. But it could scarcely be more important to have a proper opinion on this question. There is a huge pent-up desire and collective push among Democrats to impeach President Trump. That’s a mistake. By any rights, the President should have been removed from office months ago, not only for discrete offenses but on the grounds of simple temperament and misrule, things the context of the constitutional debates make clear can be grounds for removal from office. It makes perfect sense that Democrats want to impeach President Trump. But having that be the big agenda if the Democrats take back the House will be a big mistake. Read More
This is a very key story from the AP. Bruce Ohr, a DOJ expert on Russian organized crime who has been relentlessly vilified and attacked by President Trump, had a July 30th, 2016 breakfast with Christopher Steele, then just started his sleuthing on candidate Trump’s relationship with Russia. This week Ohr discussed that meeting with lawmakers in a private interview. From the AP: “Among the things Ohr said he learned from Steele during the breakfast was that an unnamed former Russian intelligence official had said that Russian intelligence believed “they had Trump over a barrel,” according to people familiar with the meeting.” Read More
In little over two months, we’ll face one of the most consequential elections of our lifetimes. That phrase is so often an empty cliche. Now it’s true. With all other possible checks on the President’s actions failing, a check at the ballot box is the only option remaining. Assuming the Democrats wrest control of the House of Representatives, the first order of business needs to be subpoena and take possession of the President’s tax returns. Read More
The perennial question of whether Dems need to moderate or go full lefty may be moot in Florida this time around where the nomination of uber-progressive Andrew Gillum for governor could be a huge boost for Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate. Allegra Kirkland explains.
Earlier today I explained that we’re trying to get to 1000 new Prime members by the end of the first week of our sign-up drive. As of earlier this afternoon, we were 20 sign-ups shy of 800. Well we blew through that number. We’re now at 836 so far in this drive. That’s just 174 short of 1000. We have three days. We can totally do this. Glory awaits a lucky 174 TPM Readers who choose this moment to come on board. Seriously, this is super important. Join us. Click here.
The US Postal Service has now stepped forward to take responsibility for an egregious breach not just of privacy but some of the most basic confidentiality rules in the US government. This is the case of Democrat Abigail Spanberger who is running against Rep. Dave Bratt in Virginia’s 7th congressional district. They released her whole government personnel file, including her SF-86 (the mega disclosure form Jared Kushner is still trying to figure out how to complete.) The Postal Service says the mistake was due to “human error”. Here’s the full story, along with Spanberger’s statement in which she notes the GOP oppo group the Post Office gave the documents to is still using it.
I don’t mean to add another obituary of John McCain, but only a footnote about an aspect of McCain’s background, character, and politics that the obituaries I’ve read has ignored. McCain was a member of America’s upper class and had the sensibility of a certain wing of that upper class. That’s important to understanding his contribution to American politics and his contempt for Donald Trump.
We are now just 20 sign ups shy of our goal of signing up 800
1000 new Prime members. That’s a big way towards our goal of 1000 during the first week of the drive. You can have the glory of being one of those 20! Just click right here.
This is a little embarrassing. I meant 800, not 1000. 1000 is our goal by the end of this weekend. And I just switched the two in my head. Anyway, 800 is also awesome! It gets us pretty close to 1000!!! Let’s do this!
I want to return to a point I made indirectly yesterday. I want to make it more directly. We’re heading toward a genuine constitutional crisis with the President. “Constitutional crisis” is sort of a meaningless word. But let me try to give it more specific meaning: a threat to the rule of law and adherence to the constitution which the constitution itself does not provide a ready solution to, not under present political circumstances. Read More
Here’s an emblematic story of the Trump Era, not simply because of the shameless behavior but the telling eagerness to claim victimhood over your own shameless behavior. Meet Omar Navarro, a diehard Trumper who is waging a presumably hopeless campaign to unseat Rep. Maxine Waters in California’s 43rd congressional district. His supporters range from far-right to alt-right. Read More